Arsenal are in talks with Bayer Leverkusen as they attempt to secure the blockbuster signing of France winger Moussa Diaby, according to a report.
The 23-year-old star has emerged as one of the Bundesliga’s brightest attackers since moving to Leverkusen in June 2019. He has scored 35 goals in 135 appearances for Bayer, as well as adding 34 assists. That amounts to a goal contribution every 1.9 appearances. However, despite having three years left on his deal, he could be on the move this summer.
As such, the likes of Newcastle and Arsenal have both reportedly been on his trail. Bayer’s demands, however, appear too high for Newcastle, who are instead pursuing other targets, such as Leeds’ Jack Harrison.
Furthermore, Diaby’s recent declaration on his plans for the 2022/23 season, means Newcastle have decided to abandon that pursuit.
However, it seems Arsenal believe a deal can still be done. And, according to Football Insider, club owner Stan Kroenke has given permission for technical director Edu to pursue his signing.
They claim that discussions over the potential signing were given the green light on Friday morning. Boss Mikel Arteta is also fully behind the swoop, believing the eight-times capped France winger can ‘complete’ their attack.
The Gunners tried and failed to sign Raphinha from Leeds earlier this summer. The Brazilian ultimately jettisoned their interest due to a lack of Champions League football, preferring instead to sign for Barcelona.
However, Arsenal may well have more luck if they pursue a deal for Diaby, amid claims Leverkusen are willing to sell.
Arsenal hope to drive down Moussa Diaby price tag
To that end, the Bundesliga side reportedly value their prized asset at around £59m (€70m). That price is currently too high for Arsenal, with the club hoping to convince Leverkusen to accept a lesser transfer fee.
However, the report claims Kroenke has given permission for Arsenal to ramp up talks over his signing. And he is prepared to dig deep into his pockets to ensure a deal goes through for the Gunners before the September 1 transfer deadline.
Kroenke is reportedly keen to help Arsenal further progress under Edu and Arteta. And he hopes that by sanctioning the signing of Diaby, it could allow Arsenal to take the next step.
They finished fifth last season, narrowly missing out to Tottenham in the pursuit of a Champions League place.
But with Arteta identifying a lack of goals from the wide positions as an area of weakness, they now see Diaby as the man to fill that void.
Speaking after Friday night’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, Arteta admits his side remain active on the transfer front.
“We are going to try,” he told Sky Sports. “We have a few things going on now and if we get them it will be great – but for now, we have to work with the players we have.”
Star fits the bill for Arsenal
A deal for Moussa Diaby would certainly tick plenty of boxes for Arsenal. Their need to add a new winger this summer is well documented, with Arteta hoping to lighten the load on Bukary Saka.
But with four competitions to juggle, including playing on a Thursday night in the Europa League, Arsenal do need more numbers.
Diaby, at 23, certainly fits the bill for Arsenal. His record in the Bundesliga is simply outstanding; the player becoming their main man since Kai Havertz’s move to Chelsea.
Diaby also fits the age profile of big-money signings Arsenal prefer to target. Already proven, he is at an age where he can get even better and for whom Arsenal can go on to sell for a potential profit in the years ahead.
And he will likely prove an upgrade for Nicolas Pepe. The club-record £72m signing from Lille has largely disappointed in a Gunners shirt.
The club still hopes to move him on this summer, although that is proving harder than ever expected.
All the same, Arteta will not stand in his way if a suitable offer comes in for his services. That will likely see Arsenal suffer a huge loss on their investment.
Arsenal are chasing Moussa Diaby
Arsenal are looking to strengthen their forward options next season and Moussa Diaby has popped up on their radar.
But the savings on his giant wages will help pay for Diaby.
Furthermore, they would surely be getting an upgrade on Pepe.
And any deal for Diaby will likely push their summer spending soaring through the £180m barrier.