Odsonne Edouard remains a target for Arsenal as the Gunners look to revamp their frontline – but they will face competition for the Celtic striker, according to reports.
Edouard has made a big impact in Glasgow since joining Celtic from PSG in 2017. To date, he has 81 goals from 163 appearances for the Bhoys. After their failure to retain their Scottish Premiership title, the Frenchman could be ready for a new challenge.
One potential taker could be Arsenal, who are long-term admirers of Edouard. They were linked with him during the summer 2020 transfer window but failed to complete a deal. But according to The Telegraph, their pursuit of the Celtic star is now back on.
There are currently doubts about the futures of current Arsenal strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah. Both players are out of contract in 2022, so the Gunners may be forced to cash in.
To further complicate the situation, captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has lost his form since signing a huge new contract last summer.
Hence, Arsenal are on the lookout for a more reliable source of goals. Edouard may be the ideal target who fits into their budget.
The 23-year-old, like Lacazette and Nketiah, is out of contract in 2022. Therefore, Celtic might have to let him go, as he remains one of their most valuable assets.
A price tag between £15m and £20m is suggested, which could represent good value for money for a striker who averages nearly a goal every other game.
Arsenal believe they can raise that same amount through the sale of Lacazette, who has been linked with the likes of Roma and Atletico Madrid. In that event, they shouldn’t have too many problems funding a move for Edouard.
The obstacle they do face, though, is interest from other clubs. The Telegraph remind that Leicester City remain the favourites for Edouard’s signature.
The striker previously played under Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers with Celtic. Therefore, as Leicester look for a long-term successor to Jamie Vardy, a reunion could be on the cards.
As things stand, Leicester look more likely to have Champions League football next season than Arsenal. Given that the latter’s budget will depend on their ability to reach that competition, their chances of signing Edouard may reduce. However, they are not giving up.
Edouard has a former teammate at the Emirates Stadium in the shape of Kieran Tierney. Perhaps those connections could be utilised to convince the France under-21 international.
There is also interest in Edouard from the mainland continent. For example, AC Milan could offer Diego Laxalt to Celtic on a permanent basis to take the striker in return. Hence, Arsenal will have to battle hard to get their man.
Lacazette doubts linger
Alternatively, a contract extension for Lacazette has not been ruled out. The club may be reluctant to explore such a deal after seeing what has happened to Aubameyang since last season. But his strike partner is now showing strong signs of form towards the end of the season.
Lacazette recently scored a brace against Sheffield United to arrive at the landmark of 50 Premier League goals across his career. It followed him scoring in successive games just before the March international break.
Still only 29, Lacazette still has something to offer and Arsenal may change their minds about him. It had previously looked like they would be getting rid this summer.
The last few weeks of the season will be crucial to their decision and whether or not they need to pursue someone new like Edouard.