Arsenal target ‘staying’ at club as journalist reveals Arteta ‘doesn’t rate’ £70m midfielder

Jason Soutar
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta does not think Amadou Onana is worth £70m, according to Dean Jones
Mikel Arteta does not think Amadou Onana is worth £70m, according to Dean Jones

According to reports, Arsenal are set to miss out on Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz, while Mikel Arteta is unlikely to pursue Everton’s Amadou Onana.

Arsenal are believed to be in the market for a new midfielder this summer, with recruiting in the middle of the park Arteta’s top priority.

It looked for a while like a new striker would be top of the summer agenda. However, Kai Havertz’s emergence as a terrific option up front has allowed the Gunners boss to switch his focus.

Aston Villa’s Luiz is a player who has been linked with a move to the Emirates for a while, with the Villans rejecting a few bids from their Premier League rivals on deadline day in the 2022 summer transfer window.

Arsenal offered between £20-30million for the Brazilian back then and his incredible performances under Unai Emery since have seen his value soar.

Villa are unsurprisingly very reluctant to sell the midfielder and it would likely take a fee in the region of £100m to make it happen; a figure that he is definitely not worth to Arteta’s side, in my humble opinion.

The signing of Onana from Everton feels a lot more realistic, but again, a potential £70m valuation seems extremely high.

The Belgian international was linked with a move to Arsenal before switching Lille for Merseyside in August 2022.

He had a solid debut season at Goodison Park but has been fairly uninspiring in 2023/24, starting only one of the Toffees’ previous six Premier League matches.

Everton’s only defeat in that period was the one that Onana started, losing 6-0 at Chelsea, while winning four to nil, and drawing the remaining fixture 1-1 away to Luton Town, a result that ensured Sean Dyche’s side would be playing in the top flight next season.

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It would be strange to see Arsenal splash out £70m on him, and transfer journalist Dean Jones has said that Everton are the only club that believes Onana is worth the fee they desire, while noting that Luiz will not be leaving Villa.

“Douglas Luiz is going to stay at Aston Villa,” Jones began. “Amadou Onana, I don’t think Arsenal have the same level of interest as they once have.

“He’s at £70m and I don’t think they will pay that for him. I don’t think anyone does (rate him that highly). Apart from Everton I don’t think anyone thinks he’s worth that money. Nobody rates him highly enough.”

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Speaking in February, Onana’s agent and sister, Melissa Onana, claimed that the 22-year-old had the chance to leave Everton in the winter transfer window.

“We could have left this winter,” she told the Noya Dur YouTube show. “But we once again sat down and asked the question whether it’s the right time, if the player is ready. My job is to put opportunities on the table.

“In the end, he’s the one who makes the choice because it’s his life and his career. I put the opportunities on the table and he said ‘No, I want to stay at Everton and I want to continue to fight’.

“I’m lucky that my brother is intelligent,” his agent added. “Which isn’t the case for all players.

“So I give him the pros and the cons of a situation that’s on the table. We talk about it, he asks me my opinion, and I say, ‘This is what I think’. Then, he makes his choice.

“Personally, I’m also not a fan of transfers during the winter. Often, it’s to put a stop to a bad situation. It’s clubs that are trying to turn a situation around after the transfers they did in the summer. They are clubs that are bleeding, trying to find a plaster.”

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