Saturday 16 July 2016

Not Higuain, Not Lukaku - Arsenal Ready To Table Improved £41.8m Bid For World Class 23-Goal Striker

Although the media seem to be busy believing Arsenal are genuinely interested in signing Napoli and Argentina international striker Gonzalo Higuain, I just can't see it happening. I strongly believe Arsenal know they stand no chance of getting Higuain and are merely using him as a smokescreen to divert attention.

Arsenal are not going to be signing the Argentine not because he is not good, but because of the amount of money involved. And in more realistic news today, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is said to be ready to table an improved bid of about £41.8m for France international striker Alexandre Lacazette, after an initial opening offer of £33.4m was rejected by Lyon, according to reports emanating from France.

Arsenal have been linked with the signing of one striker or another since April, which is an indication that Wenger is finally ready to solve Arsenal's striker problem. The Gunners probably would have won the league last season if they had a striker more prolific than Giroud. The Frenchman scored a paltry 16 goals in the league last season which certainly is not good enough.

At the beginning of July, news emerged that Arsenal has triggered the release clause of Jamie Vardy, but the Englishman chose to remain at Leicester City and signed a new contract. This has forced Arsenal back to the market and with so few strikers available, the task of finding a prolific goalscorer is even more difficult.

Knowing Wenger, he does like a bargain and he is therefore unlikely to pay the reported £79m fee that Napoli are demanding for the services of Higuain. Judging by the reports of a planned £41.8 swoop for Lacazette, it seems Wenger has shifted his attention away from the Argentine to the French striker. And rightly so, as I personally wouldn't be paying £79m for Higuain, even if I had all the money in the world.

Meanwhile, Lyon are said to be demanding in excess of £50 million for the Lacazette, which I am sure the club owner Jean-Michel Aulas himself knows is steep and certainly unrealistic. Both he and Wenger seem to be playing poker with each other.

Wenger probably knows Lacazette is now willing to leave Lyon and is using that to force Jean-Michel Aulas to lower his asking price. Aulas knows Arsenal are desperate for a striker and wants to take advantage of that to milk the Gunners dry.

Only time will tell who wins this game of transfer market poker.

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