Premier League • England

Edu preps fresh Arsenal approach for 122-goal striker as report details ‘significant discount’

Raul de Tomas of RCD Espanyol during the Liga match against Valencia CF at Mestalla

Arsenal are reportedly preparing a fresh approach for Espanyol striker Raul de Tomas this summer amid claims the Gunners saw a late January proposal blocked.

The Gunners are in the market for at least one new striker this summer after a difficult January window. Indeed, efforts to prise Dusan Vlahovic ultimately led to nothing, with reports in Italy making these alarming claims about Arsenal’s interest.

However, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang departing for Barcelona and with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah both likely to depart, the Gunners have some holes to fill.

As such, Thursday’s Paper Talk claims Mikel Arteta has been granted permission to launch a £180m spree for three players.

And with new attackers top of his wanted list, reports in Spain now claims De Tomas is also on their radar.

Indeed, De Tomas’ name first emerged as a potential Gunners target during the January window.

The Espanyol striker is apparently ‘to the liking’ of Gunners boss Mikel Arteta. As per AS, they reported he feels De Tomas has the qualities suited to the Premier League.

At 27, the Madrid-born striker is coming to the peak of his powers. And, having scored 122 goals in 300 career appearances, certainly knows his way to goal.

And now, as per Sport, Arsenal actually saw a January approach for De Tomas fall short.

They claim the Catalan side rebuffed an approach from the Gunners. Indeed, they insisted De Tomas would not leave for anything less than his £62.1m (€75m) exit clause.

Espanyol unwiling to sell Raul de Tomas in January

Citing Espanyol general manager Jose Maria Duran, they confirm his side ‘fielded a call’ from the technical director Edu.

However, the Brazilian was told that they ‘weren’t prepared to negotiate’ and merely referred Arsenal to De Tomas’ exit clause.

Arsenal savings on Aubamayeng will enable a huge summer

Arsenal savings on Aubamayeng will enable a huge summer

They may have lost out big for now, but in the long run, Arsenal may have set themselves up for success.

Indeed, losing a key man so late in the window would have left Espanyol with next to no time to secure a replacement; hence the rejection.

That said, Sport claims it will be a ‘very different story’ come the summer. With time now to find a replacement, the LaLiga side are seemingly ready to negotiate over De Tomas’ sale.

And with a ‘significant discount’ on his exit clause up for discussion, Edu is seemingly preparing a fresh approach.

De Tomas is regarded as one of LaLiga’s most feared strikers, with 12 goals and two assists in 22 appearances so far this season.

Gunners spree likely to see 10 depart

With at least one new striker likely to arrive this summer, it may be another summer of change at Arsenal.

Indeed, the Gunners will reportedly wave goodbye to up to 10 players as Edu prepares to clear the decks.

Lacazette, Nketiah and Mohamed Elneney will be first out as they depart on free transfers.

The Gunners have not, it seems, ruled out keeping Lacazette, however, if he can agree an extension.

However, Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Hector Bellerin, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson, Alex Runarsson and Konstantinos Mavropanos will all be sold off after loans.

William Saliba, Pablo Mari and Folarin Balogun, meanwhile, will all return to the club following stints away.

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