The lack of a conventional wide player hurt Arsenal’s chances last season, and manager Unai Emery has identified reinforcing this position as a priority. Expectedly, throughout the transfer window, the Gunners have been linked with multiple wide players. However, their search still lingers on with less than three weeks left in the window. If the latest reports are to be believed, Crystal Place star Wilfried Zaha sits at the top of Emery’s wish-list. Regardless, a move for Zaha has proved to be difficult due to Arsenal’s incapability to match Palace’s price.
According to a report from the Independent, the Gunners have had their second bid for Zaha turned down by Palace. The bid was valued at £55m, including £10m in bonuses, and Arsenal also offered their youngster Reiss Nelson on a year-long loan deal.
The Eagles value their player at £80m, so it can be said that the Gunners have a lot of ground to cover before they can sit down with Palace officials. Now, it remains to be seen whether Arsenal’s limited transfer budget would allow them to increase their offer for Zaha, or would they need to shift their focus to alternative options. However, it is believed that a deal is likely to be struck as the player is pushing for move to the North London club.
When it comes to alternative options, Everton Soares of Gremio is a name that has been mentioned a lot in recent weeks. The Brazilian winger recently lifted the Golden Boot trophy at Copa America and was also adjudged Man of the Match in the final.
In the last few days, multiple sources in Brazil have claimed that Arsenal have already initiated talks for Soares. However, the enthusiasm about a potential deal is not so great in the local media, which suggests that the Brazilian is only a plan B to Wilfried Zaha.
The 23-year-old is an exciting talent, and some might say that he makes for a better option than Zaha. However, it would be a huge step up for him to move from Brazil Serie A to the Premier League, and Emery needs a player who can make an immediate improvement to his side.
Besides these two, Arsenal have also been linked with Nicolas Pepe of Lille and Malcom of Barcelona.
The Gunners are among multiple top European clubs who made enquiries for the Lille winger this summer. The 24-year-old, who scored 22 goals in Ligue 1 last season, is valued at around £70m by his club. With the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United also interested in Pepe’s services, Arsenal might find it difficult to sign the Lille winger.
Barcelona winger Malcom makes for a more realistic option for Arsenal. The 22-year-old has failed to impress since his move to the Catalan club last summer. It is believed that Barcelona are ready to let him go for €60m this summer.
Arsenal’s interest in Malcom is not new as they were also interested in him during his PSG days. Besides Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton are also chasing the winger.