Leeds and Arsenal have seen their transfer hopes take a nose dive with the announcement a pair of targets have accepted new deals.
Both Arsenal and Leeds were linked with a plethora of midfield options during the summer window. The Gunners did sign Albert Sambi Lokonga, though Leeds failed in their quest to lighten the load on Kalvin Phillips.
One player who had been tipped to share the central midfield burden was Huddersfield Town’s Lewis O’Brien. However, as had been speculated, the talented 22-year-old has now penned fresh terms with the Terriers.
Head coach Carlos Corberan told the club’s official website (via the PA): “It’s a very positive moment for the club.
“Lewis is the perfect example of the kind of player we want to create – someone who has graduated from the academy to the first team, becoming an important player for the club.
“Working with Lewis is a privilege for me as head coach. He never stops working for his team or tires of trying to get better or finding solutions for us within a game. He has in his personality all of the values that I want in one player.”
O’Brien’s new deal will run through to 2025. Another midfielder who had drawn tentative links with Leeds and stronger ones with Arsenal was Rangers’ Glen Kamara.
But he too has put pen to paper on a new contract with his current club.
The Finnish midfielder’s initial agreement was due to expire in 2023. But the Scottish champions have moved to secure his services on an extended contract also running to 2025.
Kamara told Rangers’ website (via the PA): “I am delighted to have committed my long-term future to Rangers. I have absolutely loved my time here and being a part of the title-winning team last season has given me the hunger to try to win even more in the seasons ahead.
“It was an easy decision for me to sign and I want to thank the manager, Ross Wilson and the board for the faith they have shown in me.”
While new deals won’t necessarily mean a transfer won’t be sanctioned in a future window, it will strengthen the selling club’s negotiating position.
Indeed, a recent report detailed Huddersfield will now slap a £20m price tag on O’Brien. That figure is £6m higher than the £14m Huddersfield would’ve reportedly accepted prior to his new deal being signed.
Arsenal striker nearing end; next club named
Meanwhile, Alexandre Lacazette’s time as an Arsenal player is drawing to a close and the player is set to agree a free-transfer move overseas in a matter of weeks, claim reports in France.
A club-record signing in 2017, Lacazette is in the final year of his contract at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal tried to sell him in the summer but their efforts were to no avail.
Now, they appear likely to lose their £46.5m investment for nothing. Although he hasn’t always met expectations on the pitch, it would be a major financial blow.
Indeed, as per Le10 Sport, the 30-year-old is now ‘heading towards the end of an adventure’ at Emirates Stadium. And with the striker seemingly down the pecking order under Mikel Arteta, interest in the player is now gathering pace.
And it seems it’s a familiar face in Atletico Madrid, who are leading that charge. Their interest in Lacazette is well-documented, with Diego Simeone having tracked him for some time.