Arsenal will face a tough battle to secure the signing of their ideal winger target. It is believed that Newcastle will offer Rafael Leao a mega deal to join the Magpies ahead of next season.
According to the Sun, Newcastle are willing to quadruple Leao’s wages in order to persuade him to move to the North East of England in the summer. The Milan forward is yet to extend his current deal with the Rossoneri.
The Gunners had previously been heavily linked to the Portuguese international. Especially after reports that Nicolas Pepe is seemingly on his way out of the club, meaning Arsenal will need to find a replacement.
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According to Spanish news outlet Superdeporte, Sevilla have made contact with Arsenal over the signing of Pepe. The report goes on to say that the Gunners are prepared to let him leave
This follows news that Pepe’s future is uncertain at the club as according to the Evening standard Arsenal will sit down with the winger and his agent at the end of the season to discuss his future. The winger has two years left on his deal and is expected to leave in the summer.
Arsenal reportedly registered interest in Leao earlier in the season as Italian outlet La Repubblica claimed that Arsenal had turned their attention to the AC Milan forward for the summer transfer window. It is a deal that Edu could look to revisit, as Arsenal could be short in the wing positions going into next season.
Pepe has featured heavily on the right-hand side for Arsenal meaning Leao would not be a direct replacement for him. However, Martinelli has had a lot of success when given a chance on the right-hand side which would open a spot for Leao if Arteta is to opt for a more fluid system. Leao’s versatility to also play as a striker also makes him an attractive signing as the Gunners will be short in that position going into next season.
The Portuguese attacker has 13 goals and seven assists for Milan this season, and would certainly add more quality to Arsenal’s frontline. What makes him more of a desirable signing is that he can feature on either the wing positions or as a lone forward, which highlights his versatility.
There’s an extra incentive for the Gunners to sign him after Leao also revealed his admiration for Thierry Henry on social media recently. The Milan forward posted a surf emoji when referring to Henry’s excellent performance against Real Madrid for Arsenal in the 2006 edition of the Champions League.
However a deal will not be easy to complete because alongside Newcastle’s reported interest, According to Italian news outlet Gazzetta dello Sport , PSG are prepared to offer AC Milan £ 59m to also secure the services of the Portugal international. The Parisian club are also willing to pay the youngster £ 5m-a-year in order for him to join the club, meaning Arsenal have been given an indication of what it would take to persuade the winger to join the club.
The forward would certainly be an excellent signing for the Gunners. If Edu wants to complete a deal for Leao, he now has a clear price on what it would take to bring him over to the Emirates Stadium, and other clubs’ interest in him highlights the doubts about his Milan contract situation.