Arsenal transfer news: Reason behind aborted £50m winger deal emerges with blame pointed squarely at Prem rival
The reason why Arsenal were unable to sign Wolves winger Pedro Neto this summer has its roots in the free-spending of a Premier League rival, per a report.
The Gunners have earned praise from all corners for the business they conducted during the summer window. Indeed, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus already look astute buys. Jesus in particular has looked unplayable at times and the Emirates will be his home for the prime years of his career.
Mikel Arteta also deserves credit for finally giving William Saliba a chance.
The young Frenchman has grasped his opportunity with both hands and it would’ve been easy for Arteta to simply stick with the Gabriel Magalhaes and Ben White partnership. However, that’s not stopped Rio Ferdinand from pouring cold water on the rising centre-half.
Fabio Vieira and Marquinhos are patiently awaiting opportunities. Matt Turner has refreshed the goalkeeping ranks following Bernd Leno’s move to Fulham.
However, Arsenal did harbour ambitions of signing players in two other departments – holding midfield and on the wing.
Regarding the latter, Arsenal bid for Leeds Utd’s Raphinha earlier in the window. Their move was hijacked by Chelsea who were then torpedoed by their nemesis this summer – Barcelona.
As the window wore on, Wolves’ Pedro Neto came into their sights. The 22-year-old Portugal international is a constant threat at Molineux and would’ve provided competition for Bukayo Saka on the right side if signed.
£42.5m Nott’m Forest transfer raised the stakes
However, a report from the Sun has detailed why the move did not come to pass.
They state Nottingham Forest inadvertently laid waste to Arsenal’s chances through their free-spending ways.
Forest chased Wolves’ Morgan Gibbs-White late into the window and ultimately committed to a deal that could hit £42.5m.
Emboldened by the huge fee they received, it’s claimed Wolves then slapped a hefty £50m price tag on Neto.
That proved too rich for the Gunners who had no choice but to abandon their chase. But for Forest’s lavish spending, the inference is Arsenal may have found common ground with Wolves over Neto at a lower fee.
Fabrizio Romano sheds light on failed Pedro Neto move
Reacting after the window slammed shut, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano acknowledged Neto was Arsenal’s top target for the wing.
However, his comments echoed the Sun’s reporting, saying: “There were also rumours about a winger, but again it was more noise than anything concrete.
“Pedro Neto was top of the list. But Wolves wanted more than £50m, while there was never a negotiation for Yeremi Pino.”
While it is a blow not adding another top class forward to the mix, the fact Arsenal don’t have UCL football this year may minimise its impact.
Indeed, Mikel Arteta is likely to play his fringe forwards such as Eddie Nketiah and Marquinhos in the competition.
That will ensure the likes of Jesus, Saka and Gabriel Martinelli remain fit and firing for the Premier League charge.
And given Liverpool’s early struggles and Chelsea have sacked Thomas Tuchel, few would bet against the Gunners finishing inside the top four.