According to the Evening Standard, Watford have pulled out of a deal to sign Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs, with the defender’s asking price too high for the Hornets to match. A host of clubs were previously linked with the Gunners defender but interest has waned as the summer as gone on.
Gibbs is believed to be for sale this summer but will cost £15m to sign, an asking price too lofty for a player who’s hardly featured in the last two seasons, so Watford will now turn their attention to Middlesbrough’s George Friend. Arsenal are keen to cut a left-back off the wage bill as they currently have Nacho Monreal, Gibbs and new-boy Sead Kolasinac as options.
The 27-year-old made 11 Premier League appearances for Arsenal last season, spending the majority of the campaign subsidiary until an injury crisis in the final few months saw him surprisingly recalled. Monreal is first-choice at left-back but has played centre-back in a three-man backline devised by manager Arsene Wenger, meaning Gibbs featured in the run-in.
Watford are in the market for an experienced left-back this summer but don’t want to break the bank. Gibbs’ £15m valuation is pricey considering Arsenal haven’t wanted him at the club for some time and have signed a replacement in Kolasinac. However, it appears the Hornets will be looking to the Middlesbrough man instead.