Arsenal: Mikel Arteta reflects on Newcastle United draw
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Newcastle have made a ‘fresh enquiry’ about the availability of Bayer Leverkusen star Moussa Diaby, with the club long-term admirers of the winger. Arsenal have recently been linked with the forward after missing out on Mykhaylo Mudryk to Chelsea and are weighing up alternative targets.
With finishing in the top four a real possibility at St James’ Park, the Magpies are hoping to strengthen their squad significantly in the coming weeks to ensure that European football returns to the club. Eddie Howe has prioritised bolstering his attacking ranks in this window, with several options being explored.
According to the Daily Mail, the Toon Army have reignited their interest in Diaby, having pursued him over the summer unsuccessfully. The winger has scored six and assisted three in 15 league appearances for Leverkusen so far this season, seeing his value soar.
Since Chelsea hijacked their move for Mudryk, Arsenal have considered making a move for Diaby as they look to continue their title charge, though they will not have a free run at the former Paris Saint-Germain star. Newcastle have asked to stay ‘informed of developments’ involving the Gunners as they look to conduct their own business.
Reports circulated over the summer that it would take an offer in the region of £88million to sell Diaby, and Leverkusen’s shaky start to the campaign could see that valuation remain. Xabi Alonso’s side are just four points above the bottom three in the Bundesliga and desperately need to find some form to avoid being dragged into a relegation battle.
Speaking over the summer, Leverkusen director of sport Simon Rolfes told Express Sport: “For sure we want to keep Moussa for as long as possible. I know a lot of scouts have been sitting on our tribune during our matches because we have a lot of interesting, exciting young players with high potential.”
However, it is reported that the German side may be forced to part ways with one of their key assets before the January transfer window closes in order to raise funds. Leverkusen are keen to offload some of their fringe stars but struggling to find interested parties, prompting speculation that cashing in on Diaby is a possibility and that it ‘cannot be ruled out’.
It remains to be seen whether Newcastle pounce on the opportunity in order to fend off interest from Arsenal or opt to turn their attention to other targets. The Magpies have recruited concisely since their takeover and will be reluctant to rush into transfers and undo their previous good work.
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