Arsenal ready to re-open recent negotiation route as striker interest grows
A new escape route has opened up for Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah as the England under-21s record scorer looks to finally progress at senior level, according to reports.
Nketiah’s potential is clear, but at the age of 22 he is yet to establish himself in the Premier League. He has 38 top-flight appearances to his name with Arsenal, from which he has scored five goals. It is a far cry from his form for the England U21s, for whom he scored 16 goals in 17 caps between 2018 and 2021.
With one year left on his contract, the striker looks likely to leave Arsenal this summer. However, he must choose his next destination carefully. A loan spell at Leeds United did not go to plan in the 2019-20 season, so he must find somewhere he will be guaranteed continuity.
A number of Premier League sides have been linked with Nketiah already. For example, last month, West Ham and Crystal Palace were tipped to take him across London. But his latest option would take him out of the capital again.
According to The Sun, Brighton are keen to sign Nketiah and have set aside the funds to pursue him.
Finding a reliable striker is a priority for Brighton, who created many chances last season but only scored 40 goals from 38 Premier League games. Their top scorer was Neal Maupay with just eight goals. If they can find a more consistent goalscorer, they may end up closer to mid-table than the relegation zone.
They have now identified Nketiah as their top target in that department, The Sun report. The newspaper claims that they hope to do a deal for around £20m.
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Nketiah’s other admirers at Palace feel the asking price is too high, but Brighton have more faith in their target and could offer an acceptable amount.
They have already negotiated once with Arsenal this summer, selling Ben White to the Gunners for £50m. It seems like it will be good business for both clubs and they may be hoping for a similar outcome with Nketiah.
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Arsenal need to offload him, while Brighton need a centre-forward, so a deal could suit both clubs if they deem the price right.
Brighton weighing up striker options
Another striker to be linked with a move to the Amex Stadium recently is Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard.
Football Insider reported earlier this week that Celtic and Brighton are in talks over a summer switch, with the player’s representatives also involved in negotiations.
Edouard has been with the Bhoys for four seasons, the first of which was on loan from Paris Saint-Germain.
The deal became permanent in the summer of 2018 and he has one year of his contract left to run. That means the buying club hold all the aces in negotiations.
Edouard also has a price tag of around £20m, so Brighton must decide who would be the best value for that money.
READ MORE: Brighton set sights on £38.4m Benfica striker after big Ben White cash-in