Arsenal’s hopes of signing Christopher Nkunku have been raised after the youngster has refused to commit to a fresh contract offered by PSG.
Arsenal have been on the trails of Christopher Nkunku, and manager Unai Emery is a known admirer since his time as PSG boss. Le Parisien are reporting of a possible boost to the Gunners in their pursuit of Nkunku after the young star has refused to sign a new contract at the Parisian club following months of uncertainty.
In the scenario that Nkunku leaves, it would represent another blow for PSG who have, in the last few seasons, failed to keep hold of prodigious youngsters coming through their ranks. Stars such as Kingsley Coman have left in the past, while the current situation with Adrien Rabiot is also concerning, and adding the Nkunku situation will only be more miserable for PSG.
Arsenal were heavily linked to make a move for Nkunku in the January window, and while things turned against the Gunners in the pursuit, Emery is still believed to be keen on the youngster. That said, Arsenal are expected to go back to PSG and make another offer for Nkunku, only this time the bid could be for a permanent one, compared to the loan deal offered in January.
Nkuku has a contract with PSG until 2020, and as per the report, he is not ready to sign a new deal. PSG had been hopeful of keeping Nkunku for the long term, but now it looks their wish may not be served. In addition, PSG are also set to lose Adrien Rabiot in the summer, when his contract expires.
Arsenal signed Denis Suarez from Barcelona on loan in January, after their attempt for Nkunku failed. The move initially appeared to be a good one for both the club and player, but the Spaniard is yet to make a start for the Gunners. His performances have not convinced Emery, meaning Arsenal might not sign him permanently in the summer.
As for Nkunku, he desires to play more than he currently is, something the player does not see himself doing at PSG. Despite those issues, Nkunku has featured 26 times this season, although since January he’s seen more on the bench than the pitch, while his relationship with manager Thomas Tuchel is also said to be sour. PSG would at least demand €30 million for him.
Arsenal might have to pay that fee, and could be ready to do so. Given the Gunners are planning to clear out some of their stars, including the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the summer, there could be money to spend. Moreover, despite Arsenal’s financial restrictions, Emery could get additional budget if his side qualifies for next season’s Champions League.
Overall, Nkunku looks like a player Emery likes and would want him at Arsenal next season. The youngster can take a leaf out of Matteo Guendouzi’s book to make an impression and succeed at Arsenal. The club and player look like a good match for each other, but Arsenal need to act fast and not wait until the last moment before their rivals swoop in.