Premier League • England

Ruthless Arsenal to sell Nketiah as Arteta clears deck for lethal striker with gigantic release clause

Sweden striker Viktor Gyokeres

Arsenal have been named as one of three Premier League sides chasing a potent striker who only changed clubs in the last transfer window, and a second report claims Eddie Nketiah will make way to free up funds.

Mikel Arteta does not lack for options in the striker position. Gabriel Jesus is first choice when fit, with Eddie Nketiah providing adequate back-up to the Brazilian. Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard can also play centrally.

However, none of the quartet have proven themselves the type of player to break the 20 goals per season barrier.

Speculation Arsenal will move for a more lethal frontman has done the rounds. However, according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, a new striker signing is likely to be put on the backburner until the summer.

Arsenal are believed to have little wriggle room with regards to Financial Fair Play at present. That is why David Raya’s arrival over the summer came via the loan with an option to buy route.

A blockbuster summer swoop in 2024 for a potent centre-forward may require a player or two to make way first. According to Football Transfers, Nketiah will be the odd man out.

The online outlet stated Arsenal will ‘listen to offers’ for the 24-year-old and have not ruled out signing a new striker in January. Of course, that would only be possible if a buyer was found for Nketiah at a suitable price point next month.

The usual suspects linked with Arsenal are namechecked in the piece – Ivan Toney, Dusan Vlahovic and Benjamin Sesko.

However, according to a separate report (as cited by Goal), Arsenal are on the trail of Sporting Lisbon striker, Viktor Gyokeres.

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Two clauses complicate Gyokeres transfer

The 25-year-old Sweden international rose to prominence last season when firing Coventry City into the Championship play-offs.

Gyokeres bagged 21 goals for the Sky Blues and earned a move to Portugal with Sporting over the summer. Showcasing Sporting’s faith in the striker, a club-record fee worth €24m (including add-ons) was paid.

Gyokeres has proven he is just as deadly in a stiffer competition by scoring 13 goals in his first 16 matches for Sporting. However, his fast start has not gone unnoticed.

Fabrizio Romano reported on November 29 that “multiple top clubs [are] keeping [a] close eye on Gyokeres for the future.”

According to Goal, Arsenal, Newcastle and Fulham are three clubs now chasing the Swede’s signature.

Gyokeres’s contract in Lisbon contains a whopping €100m (approx. £87m) release clause. Whether a deal can be made for a sum far below that lofty valuation remains to be seen.

What’s more, Coventry also successfully inserted a sell-on clause into the player’s contract at Sporting. As such, Sporting will be doubly determined to hold out for as big of a fee as they can in the knowledge part of the profits will go straight to Coventry.

Sporting are certainly in a strong bargaining position given Gyokeres is under contract until 2028. Romano also stressed the Portuguese side are ecstatic with how Gyokeres has performed at the club so far.

Nonetheless, the lure of a return to England’s top flight could appeal to the player, though perhaps not as early as next month.

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