Arsenal’s tough attitude in contract negotiations could lead precious academy talent Arthur Okonkwo leave on a free, with reported interest from Europe’s top clubs.
Arsenal could be in line to lose out on one of their prodigious talents as the young goalkeeper, Arthur Okonkwo is reportedly evaluating options for his future. The news reported by The Mirror came out after a reported contract stand-off between the player and the club in recent weeks, and this could mean he might leave the club for a European side.
One of Arsenal’s newest recruits, contract negotiator Huss Fahmy has quickly gained a formidable reputation for being a tough negotiator with players. Formerly of Team Sky, Fahmy has been tasked with all negotiations related to contracts and his actions, especially in offering Okonkwo a new deal has hit a block.
Fahmy is also reportedly responsible for offering a new deal with a massive pay-cut for Jack Wilshere after his injury-related past. Wilshere is allegedly refusing to sign the new agreement and could be followed out of the door by Arthur Okonkwo in the summer if Arsenal fail to agree to terms with one of their top teenage prospects.
Arsenal have reportedly offered the youngster a scholarship with a potential professional contract that could follow when he turns 17, but Okonkwo reportedly wants a professional deal now.This contract stand-off has alerted clubs like Celtic and RB Leipzig who are monitoring the teenager’s situation and will be ready to move if he decides to leave Arsenal.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) April 23, 2018
Leipzig especially would appeal to Okonkwo, after they recently signed Ademola Lookman from Everton, a player Arsenal were interested at one point. Lookman has gone on to make an impression at the German club, and the Gunner youth could take his lead and join the Bundesliga high-fliers.
Okonkwo has made his mark for the U-17s and is already a promising talent for the Gunners, with many regarding the 6’5″ goalkeeper as a sure future first-team player. If Arsenal fail to agree on a deal with Okonkwo, the England under-17 goalkeeper could leave the club permanently on a free transfer in the summer, which could turn out to be a massive blow.
It is suggested that Okonkwo does not want to leave the club, as he sees his future here, but wants a change in the attitude of those involved in offering contracts. The report of European interest in the youngster has probably emerged after it was understood he does not want to move to a club in the Premier League. Either way, if Arsenal do not act fast, they could lose an excellent prospect off their hands.