Arsenal are currently negotiating with Crystal Palace over a proposed sale of Eddie Nketiah, as revealed by David Ornstein in his Monday column for The Athletic.
When Nketiah arrived to the Arsenal Academy from Chelsea in 2015, the hopes that Gunners would soon have a high-quality striker in their ranks for the foreseeable future were high. However, first-team opportunities have been rather limited for the 22-year-old. His contract expires at the end of the season and the club are now facing the age-old dilemma – sell now or risk a departure without compensation next summer?
Nketiah is currently out of action through injury, and that’s a very unfortunate aspect of his situation. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette both unavailable for the season-opening defeat to Brentford, it would have been the perfect opportunity for him to stake a claim for an important role at the start of the Premier League campaign. Obviously, it was not to be, and Folarin Balogun was given that chance instead.
Gabriel Martinelli started upfront against Chelsea on Sunday, with Aubameyang and Balogun coming on in the second half. With Lacazette still unavailable, that would probably have been another chance for Nketiah.
As it is, the youngster doesn’t seem very likely to agree to a contract extension. There was interest from Brighton and Hove Albion earlier in the window, but Arsenal turned their advances down. At the moment, Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira is conducting an overhaul at Crystal Palace, and he has his eye on Nketiah.
The two clubs remain significantly apart in their respective valuations of the striker, however. Palace have apparently indicated that they’re ready to pay £10 million, while Arsenal want £20m. It remains to be seen whether a compromise is found in the next 10 days. If not, a January exit for Nketiah should become increasingly likely.