Arsenal prepare imminent first offer for ‘lively’ replacement for prolific ace amid ‘merciless battle’ for Chelsea target

Cengiz Under and Elye Wahi

Cengiz Under battling with Elye Wahi in a match between Marseille and Montpellier

Arsenal are on pole position to sign Elye Wahi from Montpellier this summer, it has been claimed in France.

Wahi has scored 17 goals in Ligue 1 this season from 32 appearances from Montpellier. Still only 20 years old, he appears ready to take the next step in his career. A report from Foot Mercato has explained that the ‘lively’ attacker is almost certain to change clubs this summer.

In turn, Arsenal are at the front of the queue to sign Wahi, although a ‘merciless battle’ is taking shape with his other suitors. Alongside Arsenal, Monaco are said to be one of the leading candidates to take him.

But the Premier League side are already preparing their first offer to Montpellier for Wahi. The asking price will be up to €35m (£30m), although it is not yet clear if Arsenal will match it.

Montpellier only have Wahi under contract until 2025 after bringing him through their youth ranks. This summer could give them their best chance to maximise their profits by selling him.

An entry into English football could be on the cards for the France under-21 international. If not with Arsenal, it could be with Chelsea.

Indeed, has indicated that Chelsea are also willing to make a substantial offer for Wahi this summer, confirming they want to blow Arsenal out of the water.

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Once again, the value of their potential bid is yet to be revealed. But it appears they are eager not to miss out on yet another attacking talent for the long term.

Chelsea were one of the lowest-scoring teams in the 2022-23 Premier League. Even two of the clubs who suffered relegation had bigger numbers than them in the ‘goals for’ column in the table.

Therefore, the Blues will be aiming to invest in their attack at the start of the Mauricio Pochettino era.

Arsenal could sell Balogun and sign Wahi

As for Arsenal, only Manchester City scored more goals in the top flight this season. However, it became difficult for Mikel Arteta to rely on Gabriel Jesus due to a combination of form and injury issues.

There could be a departure from the Arsenal attack this summer. One of only seven players to outscore Wahi in Ligue 1 this season has been Folarin Balogun during his loan spell at Reims.

Balogun is due back at Arsenal after the end of the season, but will only want to stay if he can continue playing regularly. Because of Jesus and Eddie Nketiah, Arteta might not be able to offer him that.

Consequently, Balogun is now attracting interest from all across Europe. According to a recent update by the Daily Mirror, two contenders to sign him are Napoli and AC Milan.

Napoli are bracing themselves for bids for Victor Osimhen, whom they would need to replace, while it hasn’t worked out for Divock Origi since he left Liverpool for Milan.

Should Balogun end up in Italy, Arsenal will be wondering if they could do with a third striker to compete with Jesus and Nketiah. Perhaps there could still be room among their ranks for Wahi.