Arsenal make ‘initial contact’ as they look to strike a deal for €100m Bundesliga winger

Arsenal target Moussa Diaby runs with the ball Credit: Alamy
Arsenal target Moussa Diaby runs with the ball Credit: Alamy

Premier League side Arsenal have made contact with Bayer Leverkusen over a potential deal for winger Moussa Diaby, according to reports.

The Gunners are hoping to sign a winger before the end of the January transfer window with the Gunners recently missing out on a deal for Mykhaylo Mudryk.

Mudryk signed an eight-and-a-half year deal at Chelsea in a €100m transfer with Arsenal now looking to secure other targets with a fortnight of the window to go.

Barcelona duo Raphinha and Ferran Torres have been mooted, while Brighton pair Leandro Trossard and Kaoru Mitoma are also understood to be on their radar.

But now Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth claims that Arsenal “have made initial contact with Bayer Leverkusen” over a potential transfer for Diaby.

Diaby, who has eight caps for France, has contributed eight goals and three assists in 21 appearances in all competitions for the Bundesliga outfit this season.

Sheth adds that Leverkusen “do not want to sell mid-season” and that the German club “were quoting €100m to interested clubs in the summer”.

Bayer Leverkusen managing director Simon Rolfes revealed in October that the Bundesliga side had not received any offers for Diaby in the summer transfer market.

“For sure, we want to keep Moussa for as long as possible,” Rolfes said.

“I know a lot of scouts have been sitting on our tribune during our matches because we have a lot of interesting, exciting young players with high potential.

“So, it’s the same as [Patrik] Schick. We did not receive any offers for him but we are not even looking for that at the moment.

“We wanted to keep him and play Champions League football with him this season.”

Premier League clubs are starting to get frustrated with Chelsea throwing their weight around in the transfer market with Todd Boehly already signing five players this month.

And former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit is glad the Gunners didn’t end up paying over the odds for new Chelsea signing Mudryk.

Petit told ICE 36: “When I look at the money that Chelsea have spent on Mudryk… Oh, my goodness. Who is pressing the button on these deals at Chelsea?

“Is it the owner? Is there anyone in the club that can tell him to stop spending so much money without a strategy?

“It looks like that whenever a big club puts a bid in for a player, Chelsea get on the phone and make an offer as well! Come on! Where is the strategy?!”

Despite Shakhtar’s owner indicating that Arsenal did make a €100m bid for Mudryk, it wasn’t structured in the same way as Chelsea’s offer.

Petit added: “I completely understand Arsenal’s decision not to match Chelsea’s bid. How can Chelsea make an offer of €100m (£88m)?

“It is ridiculous. Let Chelsea spend the money. It is clever for Arsenal to stay out of these silly games.”

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