Transfer update: Arsenal 'plan' player-plus-cash Maddison move
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Arsenal’s transfer pursuit of Tammy Abraham has seemingly been dealt a blow after reports claimed Chelsea have scheduled talks with Serie A side Atalanta over the striker. Abraham is likely to be on the move this summer after falling out of favour at Chelsea under new boss Thomas Tuchel.
The 23-year-old was a favourite under Frank Lampard and was the top goalscorer at Stamford Bridge before the club legend was dismissed following a mid-season slump.
But he has failed to impress Tuchel with the German boss preferring Kai Havertz in a more advanced role and Timo Werner in attack.
Abraham’s stock fell so drastically after Tuchel’s arrival that he was even left out of the Champions League final squad against Manchester City at the Estadio do Drago.
He may not be fancied by Tuchel, but Abraham is a highly-sought after player as a young English goalscorer.
And according to the Evening Standard, Arsenal, Southampton and West Ham are all keen on Abraham.
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Aston Villa were previously said to be interested in signing their former loanee but the surprise transfer announcement of Danny Ings means they are unlikely to be in the market for another striker.
The Standard’s report adds that Chelsea value Abraham at £40m.
But their own eagerness to sign an elite forward could prove problematic for Arsenal who require a goalscoring forward to boost their ranks.
That is because the Blues’ pursuit of Belgian international Romelu Lukaku would coincide with Inter Milan needing to find a replacement.
Lukaku helped fire Inter to the Serie A title last season but looks increasingly likely to leave Italy for a return to Stamford Bridge.
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And according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter have already lined up Duvan Zapata as a possible replacement.
Zapata is Atalanta’s star man and the report explains that the club do not need to sell to a direct rival.
But if the Colombian forward does leave, Atalanta will be short themselves and they have identified Abraham as a realistic striker option.
Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Chelsea have been made aware of Atalanta’s interest in Abraham.
And it is claimed a meeting has already been scheduled between the two clubs on Monday where a possible ‘loan deal’ could be discussed.
The talks could give Atalanta the chance to take huge strides towards signing Abraham, which would leave Arsenal behind in the chase.
Mikel Arteta’s Gunners need to act fast if they are to secure a striker target to provide competition for Alexandre Lacazette, with just under a month of the transfer window remaining.
And if their interest in Abraham is concrete, they look set to be disappointed if they don’t match Chelsea’s £40m valuation for the forward.
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