Watford have reportedly abandoned their plans to sign Arsenal full-back Kieran Gibbs.
The Hornets were keen to land the 27-year-old defender in time for the start of the 2017/18 season, but have been put off by Arsenal’s steep valuation of their player.
Marco Silva is refusing to meet Arsenal’s £16 million asking price for a player who has not been a first-team regular at the Emirates. Kieran Gibbs is unlikely to play on regular basis this season and with less than 12 months in his deal with the Gunners, he will be available on a free contract at the end of next season.
Arsenal nevertheless continue to demand a high price for Gibbs despite deeming the full-back surplus to the requirements at the Emirates.
The 27-year-old England defender is coming off from an underwhelming Premier League season during which he notched only 11 outings, only eight of which were starts. Gibbs is reportedly keen on a summer switch in order to revive his career, but Watford have already identified more affordable alternatives for the Arsenal left-back.
The Hornets are also interested in Feyenoord left-back Miquel Nelom.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are hoping they will be able to offload a string of fringe players this summer in efforts to raise transfer funds and balance their books with the wage bill.
Having already parted ways with goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny who joined Juventus in a £10 million deal, Arsenal are attempting to find new homes for the likes of Jack Wilshere, David Ospina, Carl Jenkinson, Lucas Perez, Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy.
The players’ wage demands and Arsenal’s steep valuations remain the biggest obstacles, however.