Arsenal may have been turned down by one striker today but Wenger will be hoping that he wins the race to sign another, as the interest heats up for the signing of Lille striker Sofiane Boufal.
Boufal may be unknown to many fans but he has already attracted the interest of many top European clubs, one of which is supposedly Arsenal. According to the Guardian, after his €4m move to Lille from Angers in France, Boufal’s price tag could rise to around €25m this summer.
Boufal may not have hit the heights that some of the strikers we have been linked with this summer, as the Morrocan striker scored just 11 goals all season in France, however there is great confidence in his ability and that he is one of Europe’s hottest prospects.
Speaking to the media, Boufal’s agent admitted that it is highly likely the 22 year old will leave this summer, with interest from Barcelona as well as other top clubs, but with little chance of getting a first team spot at the Spanish Champions he was looking at other options. “We did have a meeting with the leadership of FC Barcelona in the last few weeks. There is an interest,” Yvan Le Mée said. “Now the reflection is whether Sofiane Boufal will go to Barcelona to compete with MSN (Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar) or should he go to a club where he is going to start matches and express his exceptional talent.
“We have initiated discussions with three clubs that interest us, but they either have or will change their coach or the coach is in charge of a national team at the Euros. In England, there is interest, but the English market is just beginning. A transfer of 20 and 25 million euros is not resolved in two weeks, of course.”
From that quote it seems that it must rule Arsenal out of the equation since The Gunners obviously aren’t changing managers this summer. Instead Chelsea, United and City are all changing managers ready for upcoming season, so you’d assume that they are the three major premier league clubs interested. This being said, Arsenal have supposedly had a long standing interest in the Lille striker and have been scouting the Moroccan forward since January, and are the only top Premier League side that could guarantee Boufal Champions League football, plus a position as first choice striker.
Boufal can operate in the centre or as a wide man, making him already a versatile player who could make his mark from a number of positions on the pitch. He is young, affordable and speaks French. Is he a typical Wenger signing?