Chelsea stole Mykhaylo Mudryk away and Newcastle are interested in alternative Arsenal target Moussa Diaby as the Gunners continue to search for a forward.
If Arsenal expected a free run at any of their forward targets this month then they were sorely mistaken. After Chelsea stole Mykhaylo Mudryk from under their noses, Newcastle seem intent on stealing Moussa Diaby away from Bayer Leverkusen.
Arsenal were said to have made initial contact with the Bundesliga club, who quoted a price of €100m for Diaby in the summer. But almost as soon as the Gunners’ interest became public, Newcastle have revived their long-standing admiration of the 23-year-old.
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The Daily Mail describe a ‘fresh enquiry’ coming from the Magpies, who ‘remain keen to be kept informed of developments’ regarding the situation. And that is some remarkable transfer speak.
Leverkusen are desperate to keep Diaby – and his eight goals and four assists in 22 appearances this season – at least until the summer, but their eagerness to raise cash could expedite a sale. And Arsenal have been warned about the consequences of their Mudryk chase, while Newcastle’s pits are bottomless.
MIDNIGHT TRAIN TO GEORGIA
Another wide forward Arsenal could try their luck with is Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, although that is based on conjecture rather than actual speculation. Probably for the best, too, considering Manchester City want the Napoli star.
Kvaradona is a fan favourite and exciting player, with nine goals and 12 assists in 20 appearances for the Serie A leaders so far this campaign. And again, it’s the Daily Mail reporting on a possible future move.
All things considered, it would be a surprise if Manchester City were not ‘monitoring’ the Georgian international. But if they were to act on anything they had better stuff an arseload of cash in the suitcase they take to Naples.
DON’T CALL MY NAME, ALEJANDRO
There was a mild panic at Man Utd concerning the contract situation of Alejandro Garnacho, whose current deal expires in the summer of 2024, with the club boasting the option of adding an extra year.
The offer of a pay rise from £7,000 per week to £20,000 was apparently rejected by the winger, with the fear emerging that he might act on interest from Real Madrid. But the Daily Telegraph report a breakthrough in those talks as negotiations are ‘advanced’ and ‘close’ to completion.
James Ducker does not put a number on it but an ‘improved’ contract is on the table and there is ‘optimism’ at Old Trafford that a mutually beneficial conclusion can be reached. There had been fear over a repeat of the Adnan Januzaj scenario – that of an exciting young player given too much, too soon – but ‘valuable lessons’ were taken from that experience and a balance has been struck ‘that offers just the right incentive and maintains that hunger to improve’.