Arsenal have opened talks over a potential deal to sign Moussa Diaby but Bayer Leverkusen are demanding around £84m to sell the talented winger this summer, according to reports via the Express.
Boss Mikel Arteta is expected to be busy in the transfer market over the coming months as he looks to strengthen his squad having secured Arsenal’s return to European football next season.
The Gunners need to bring in attacking reinforcements as Nicolas Pepe is tipped to leave after falling out of favour so Arteta needs competition for the likes of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe out wide.
Diaby has emerged as a prime target in recent months and the Express are citing a report from the print edition of Bild that claims Arsenal have now stepped-up their pursuit of the French international winger.
The report says the North Londoners have already opened talks to discuss a potential move to the Emirates Stadium and Arsenal have made ‘very serious efforts’ to sign Diaby ahead of the summer window.
The 22-year-old has forged a reputation as one of the most highly-rated young attackers in the Bundesliga since joining Bayer Leverkusen from Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain in 2019.
Diaby has contributed 16 goals and 13 assists in all competitions this season, and he’s able to play on both wings and as a ‘false 9’ so he’d be a versatile addition to Arteta’s squad.
Arteta going to be busy
However, any potential deal won’t come cheap as the Express cites Bild as saying that Leverkusen want around £84m to sell Diaby this summer. That would represent a club-record fee for Arsenal as it would eclipse the £72m they paid for Pepe in 2019.
Diaby still has three years left on his current contract so Leverkusen are under no pressure to sell on the cheap. However, the report suggests they may lower their demands if the attacker makes it clear he wants to leave and is willing to kick up a fuss.
Leverkusen will have to drop their asking price if Diaby is to end up at the Emirates as Arsenal won’t be able to afford £84m, even if they manage to secure a return to the Champions League.
Arteta needs to bring in several players to bulk-up his young squad for next season, so the Gunners cannot splash out such a huge fee on just one signing.
We’ll have to wait and see how things develop over the coming weeks but Diaby would be an excellent addition to Arteta’s squad if Arsenal were able to get a deal agreed for his signature this summer.