Arsenal have reportedly set their sights on Nabil Fekir, and are preparing to sign the Lyon playmaker next summer.
According to a report by Daily Mirror, Arsenal have ended their interest in Thomas Lemar, with Arsene Wenger turning his attention towards Nabil Fekir. The Gunners have earmarked the Lyon captain as one of the replacements for Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez and are set to move for the player in the summer.
Fekir was somewhat of a journeyman during his youth footballing days, spending seven different spells with five clubs, including Lyon, where he progressed through the ranks before breaking into the first-team setup in 2013.
Since then, the 24-year-old has gradually grown in stature, and was entrusted with captaincy at the onset of this season. The added responsibility seems to have brought the best out of Fekir, who has scored 12 goals and provided 3 assists in 15 appearances across all competitions so far.
2 – Fekir is the 2nd French player to score 11 goals after 12 matchdays in L1 over the last 40 seasons after Benzema in 2007/08 (11). Heir. pic.twitter.com/3eanrBNTtB
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) November 6, 2017
His exploits have piqued the interest of one of his long-term admirers, Arsene Wenger, who is set to be in the market for an attacking player in the next two transfer windows as he prepares to find replacements for Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
Both attacking stalwarts have been in a contract standoff with the North London club for well over a year now, and do not look any closer to signing a new deal anytime soon. Sanchez is heavily being linked with a move to Manchester City, quite possibly in the winter transfer window or next summer.
Meanwhile, Ozil’s future is highly uncertain, although the German playmaker is being linked with a number of clubs that want to sign him on a free transfer next summer. While Arsenal are likely to make a final contract offer to the duo, it seems like a lost cause to tie them down to new deals.
With both Ozil and Sanchez set to call time on their stint at the Emirates, Fekir is a viable target for Wenger to pursue. A move for the player would represent a raid on Lyon for the second successive year, having signed Alexandre Lacazette in a club record £52 million deal in the summer.
While Arsenal would need more than just Fekir to adequately replace Sanchez and Ozil, the Frenchman’s capture would be a step in the right direction for the Gunners, with the player starting to come into his own.