Arsenal tipped for ‘edge’ after ‘lining up’ move for £31m relegation fodder amid Chelsea links

Will Ford
Leeds winger Wilfried Gnonto takes on the Wolves defence.

Arsenal will ‘have half an eye’ on Leeds’ relegation battle as Wilfried Gnonto could ‘give them an edge’ if he decides to move to the Emirates in the summer.

Gnonto only moved to Elland Road from Swiss side FC Zurich last summer but has impressed in his debut Premier League season, and has four goals and four assists in all competitions.

It’s claimed Leeds want £31m for Gnonto, whom they signed for just £4m in the summer, and it’s thought Chelsea have a ‘genuine interest’ in the 19-year-old, while other top European clubs are also thought to be keen.

But a report in March claimed Arsenal were ‘lining up’ a bid at the end of the season and transfer expert Dean Jones believes the Gunners will be keeping tabs on the Italy international, who will surely leave Leeds if Sam Allardyce fails to get them out of trouble.

Jones told GiveMeSport: “Earlier in the campaign he started to establish himself at this level and I know a lot of scouts have been surprised at how he has not been affected by the pressures of the Premier League. Even in bad times, his own game has been pretty solid and when he has a smile on his face he seems capable of anything on a football pitch.

“I know Chelsea have been linked and I don’t have too much information on there being progress with that but I do think Arsenal have half an eye on how Leeds’ season plays out because he could give them an edge if he looks to move clubs but stay in England.

“Beyond that, there will be so many options on the continent, I’m already hearing about clubs like Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund having an eye on this.”

The teenager has received plenty of plaudits this season, with Leeds fans desperate to see him handed more game time, and Gary Neville highlighted his maturity in the 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa in January.

“To see someone so mature, so young is very unusual in that position,” Gary Neville said on Sky Sports’ coverage of the game.

“Sometimes you see potential and talent but watching him so closely, his understanding of where to be, his choice of pass, when to run with it, his awareness of teammates, really good honestly.”

MAILBOX: Is it possible to kill the Man City monster? And Klopp’s let-off highlights Tierney’s ‘lack of integrity’…