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Arsenal to 'reluctantly' sell £30m-rated striker amid four-club transfer battle

Arsenal to 'reluctantly' sell £30m-rated striker amid four-club transfer battle
© Reuters
Arsenal are reportedly prepared to 'reluctantly' sell out-of-favour striker Eddie Nketiah this summer, but only if they receive an offer of £30m.

Arsenal are prepared to "reluctantly" let one of their strikers leave the club this summer amid suggestions that four teams are battling for his services.

During the 2023-24 campaign, academy graduate Eddie Nketiah served as Mikel Arteta's third-choice striker, as Kai Havertz established himself as the Spaniard's leading number nine.

The German started out unsuccessfully in midfield before his successful transition to an offensive role, forcing Gabriel Jesus to play backup and bumping Nketiah even further down the pecking order.

The England international made 37 appearances across all competitions, but he managed just six goals and made the starting XI on just 10 occasions in the Premier League, most recently in December's defeat to Fulham.

Furthermore, Nketiah was an unused substitute in Arsenal's last six top-flight games of the season, and even though he extended his contract until 2027 a couple of years ago, a sale has been seen as inevitable.

Arsenal's Eddie Nketiah celebrates scoring their third goal on October 28, 2023© Reuters

Arsenal 'to demand £30m fee for Nketiah'

According to The Sun, Arsenal will allow Nketiah to depart if a suitable offer comes in this summer, but the Gunners are still "reluctant" to let the 24-year-old end his nine-year association with the club.

Despite refusing to start the striker in any Premier League games in 2024 so far, Arteta is still said to rate Nketiah highly, but he is sympathetic to the Englishman's yearning for regular game time.

Reports that Arsenal will demand a club-record £40m fee to sell Nketiah are now believed to be wide of the mark, but the Gunners are still hopeful of earning a £30m profit for their home-grown product.

Fulham - who are also in for Emile Smith Rowe - are supposedly leading the race and would be prepared to shell out that sum, but Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers are in the mix too.

Furthermore, Everton could try to strike a year-long loan deal for Nketiah, who boasts a total of 38 goals in 168 matches for Arsenal since leaving Chelsea's academy in 2015.

Should Arteta be "reluctant" to sell Nketiah?

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reacts on May 19, 2024© Reuters

Havertz's transfer was criticised and worked out. David Raya's signing was criticised and worked out. Arsenal fans have quickly learned not to question the wisdom of Arteta and sporting director Edu when it comes to incomings at the Emirates.

However, it has been a different story in terms of outgoings, thanks in no small part to Arsenal's repeated failings to earn suitable fees for their outgoing stars, as well as their period of terminating contracts wilfully.

On this occasion, Arteta's stance truly makes little sense. If the Spaniard truly does rate Nketiah highly, why did he not earn any minutes in Arsenal's final six matches? Why did he play just 136 minutes in the Champions League?

Arsenal fans have often had a bone to pick with Arteta when it comes to rotating his team and giving younger players a chance, and one cannot blame Nketiah for wanting out, despite his long-running association with the Gunners.

The 24-year-old has shown his best form when he knows he will be starting no matter what - impressing during Jesus's injury absences - and if he receives such assurances from one of his four suitors, they can expect to bag themselves a competent Premier League striker.

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