Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta recently admitted the squad under his command was ‘short’, and speaking to the press ahead of the Wolverhampton Wanderers clash on Saturday evening at the Molineux, he repeated the stance that the club would be in the transfer market in January for reinforcement, should the right players become available.
According to recent reports, the positions the boss aims to add depth to are attacking flanks and centre midfield.
With Douglas Luiz now under a new contract at Aston Villa, the club have been forced to consider other targets for the middle of the pitch. One name that has popped up is Nabil Fekir, who could reportedly be allowed to leave Real Betis during the winter window to help them sort out some financial issues that have been plaguing the La Liga side. The price is believed to stand at €30 million.
In 2018, Fekir was on the verge of joining Liverpool as a direct replacement for Philippe Coutinho. He had had his photos taken in the Liverpool shirt and done what should have been his first interview as a Liverpool player, when the whole business fell through under rather mysterious circumstances. Whatever happened there aside, the attacking midfielder went on to win the World Cup with France that year and left Olympique Lyon in 2019 to join Betis.
Since then, he’s scored 25 goals and produced as many assists in 129 appearances for his current club.
Now 29, Fekir is reportedly a target for Newcastle as well, and some see the situation as a good opportunity for the Gunners to get back at the Magpies for pinching the Bruno Guimaraes deal in January this year – their first marquee signing under the new, super-rich owners. Though Newcastle have the funds to outbid Arsenal, it’s Arsenal who are involved in the race for the Premier League title at the moment, and that’s a prospect that might tip the Fekir seesaw towards the Emirates.