Reluctant Arsenal make Vieira sweat on demands for Crystal Palace target

Date published: Sunday 15th August 2021 10:18 - Dan Burnham

Arsenal have laid out their stance to Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace on their young prospect Reiss Nelson, with the transfer window clock ticking down.

Vieira made 307 Premier League appearances during his playing career. But yesterday marked his first game as a manager in England’s top flight. It was a tough introduction for the Frenchman, as his Eagles side were comfortably dispatched 3-0 by a dominant Chelsea.

When announced as Roy Hodgson’s successor at Selhurst Park in July, Vieira knew he was faced with a tricky task.

An ageing squad combined with a significant number of out of contract players meant it was very much a rebuilding job.

So far Palace have done well in recruiting youthfully. Marc Guehi, 21, and Michael Olise, 19, are two promising acquisitions who had impressive 2020/21 seasons in the Championship at Swansea and Reading respectively.

And they have also brought in Chelsea youngster Conor Gallagher on loan. As such, they have one spot left for another Premier League loanee.

They have been keen to fill this with Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson. Like Guehi and Gallagher, he is also aged just 21.

Brighton and Brentford have been credited with an interest too. But a report at the start of the month suggested Gunners legend Vieira was looking to use his connections to secure a move.

However, over two weeks have passed with no progression. There’s only 16 days left to go in the transfer window too.

Reiss Nelson TEAMtalk

Latest reports indicate Arsenal are holding out on Nelson signing a new deal with the club before letting him leave for the season. That’s according to The Sun.

And this could be a setback for Palace. Nelson has refused to sign a contract extension in recent months. And it doesn’t seem like it will be an easy task for Arsenal to tie him down.

If he fails to make an agreement with the north London club, they may be forced to sell him, which would knock Palace out of the running.

Nelson alternatives being explored

Vieira therefore is faced with a dilemma. He can either wait for Nelson and risk losing out on bringing in attacking midfielder, or set his sights on an alternative.

The report states the Eagles have already explored some options. Bournemouth’s David Brooks has been the subject of an enquiry.

The Cherries are not looking to sell the 24-year-old Welsh international, though. Watford’s Will Hughes is another target.

Hughes, 26, is refusing to sign a new deal with the Hornets. And Ademola Lookman is another name that has long been on Palace’s list of options.

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