It looks like Arsenal’s transfer window is really kicking into gear. The Gunners are set to announce Gabriel Martinelli as the first arrival of the summer and it seems two talents from France could follow him closely.
We told you last week that Alexis Claude Maurice from FC Lorient wanted to join the Gunners and now personal terms have been agreed with the player according to SoccerLink. The clubs are also close to agreeing a fee of around £18million.
That may seem a lot for a player currently playing in Ligue 2, but he is a forward in demand. Well known for his acceleration and speed, as well as his agility and balance in his dribbling, ‘Alexis’ has managed 14 goals in Ligue 2 last season. Still just 21, there’s plenty of room to continue improving for the player who predominantly plays as a number 10, but is capable of playing on the wings or even as a striker.
Alexis only has to look at Matteo Guendouzi’s involvement this season to see that Emery is not scared to regularly use a player that hasn’t previously had much top level experience.
Another deal in the pipeline appears to be William Saliba of St Etienne, who according to reports in France has also agreed terms with the club. Although a fee is yet to be agreed, the report which comes from FootMercato suggests that the player has provisionally agreed to a 5 year deal at the club.
Manchester City were thought to be favourites to complete a deal for Saliba due to their willingness to loan the player back to his current club next season. It remains to be seen whether or not Arsenal would be willing to include such an option in any deal.
Saliba is just 18 years old and only broke into the first team last season, but standing at 6ft 4’, he already posseses immense physical attributes that could help him settle in the Premier League. His stature combined with his calmness in possession has seen him draw comparisons to Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk who has perhaps become the worlds most valuable defender.
Arsenal once had the chance to sign van Dijk from Celtic for £10million, they will hope not to make the same mistake with Saliba.
The club appear willing to listen to offers for Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac in order to raise more funds for Unai Emery to bring in players that suit his system.
Deals for Saliba and Alexis are likely to incur a combined fee in excess of £45million.