Arsenal are reportedly eyeing another bargain signing in the transfer window, with a bid lined up for Lorient forward Alexis Claude-Maurice.
According to British publication Express, Arsenal are ready to raid Ligue 2 outfit Lorient once more. The Gunners are readying a summer move for Lorient forward Alexis Claude-Maurice, who has also been linked with Norwich City, who are set for Premier League football in the 2019-20 season after a triumphant campaign in the Championship.
Matteo Guendouzi has been a revelation since joining Arsenal from Lorient in the summer of 2018. The youngster’s success, combined with the bargain transfer fee has seen Arsenal be interested in another highly-rated prospect at Lorient, Alexis Claude-Maurice.
A product of the Lorient youth setup, Claude-Maurice has truly had a breakout season in the 2019-20 Ligue 2 campaign, with the 20-year-old recording 14 goals and 4 assists to his name. An even bigger achievement is the fact that 12 of those goals have come while being deployed in a wide position, an area Arsenal are looking to bring players in during the summer transfer window.
Unai Emery could also use Claude-Maurice as a replacement for Aaron Ramsey, who has departed for Juventus on a free transfer. The 20-year-old is primarily an attacking midfielder and loves playing through the middle behind the centre forwards and could be of use in that position as well.
Alternatively, Claude-Maurice’s 2019-20 Ligue 2 campaign has shown he is worthy of being brought in to fill the wide spots in the squad. What has piqued Emery’s interest is the fact that they will be able to acquire the 20-year-old for around the same fee as Guendouzi, with the forward currently valued at £9 million by Lorient.
Arsenal need to be shrewd in their transfer dealings, with Unai Emery set to be handed only £40 million excluding player sales for reinforcing the squad in the summer, should Arsenal fail to win the Europa League and qualify for the 2019-20 Champions League.
Norwich might be able to promise a more regular role in the first-team setup compared to Arsenal. But, Guendouzi can be used as an example by the club to show that, if Claude-Maurice is the right fit, he can become a regular member of the playing eleven at Emirates.
There are other clubs in the frame as well, with AS Monaco and Eintracht Frankfurt also tracking the 20-year-old. Lille too, are in for Claude-Maurice, with the youngster pencilled in to replace Nicolas Pepe, who has been linked with an array of Premier League clubs recently.
Arsenal will hope the Guendouzi connection can convince Claude-Maurice to join their project at Emirates. With Lorient not coming anywhere close to being promoted to Ligue 1, the 20-year-old could jump at the chance of being privy to top-tier football on a weekly basis, especially at a club like Arsenal.