Arsenal could reportedly return for Ryan Fraser as the club considers the Bournemouth star as an alternative to top target Wilfried Zaha.
Arsenal’s chase for a genuine winger has led them on the trails of many stars in the last few weeks. Wilfried Zaha, however, remains their top target, although with a deal seemingly unattainable now, they have shifted focus to other targets. According to Daily Star, the Gunners are set to reignite their chase of Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser having previously cooled their interest in him.
Fraser’s name had been mentioned even before last season ended. The Bournemouth winger comes into this window as one of Premier League’s hottest properties and is also seemingly available for an economical price tag. With only one year left on his deal, the Cherries are supposedly open to selling him, and Arsenal were thought to be the front runners for his signature.
However, in the last few weeks, Fraser had seemingly made a u-turn and was ready to stay on at Bournemouth for another season at least. Because the Scotland international is no closer to signing an extension at the club, Bournemouth might be forced to cash in amid some substantial interest from clubs including Arsenal.
The Gunners were also guilty of leaving a cold trail in the pursuit of Fraser. After courting the winger for some time, Arsenal shifted their total focus towards Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha. The Ivory Coast international is desperate to join the Gunners, but Palace’s asking price is proving to be a stumbling block in any potential deal with Arsenal.
Palace are demanding as much as £100 million for Zaha. So it wasn’t a surprise when they snubbed Arsenal’s £40 million offer for Zaha, as they are firmly holding out for at least double that. For Arsenal, it would be a challenging prospect considering their meagre £45 million transfer budget for the current window, although they could still raise cash through player sales.
Ideally, Unai Emery would have liked to bring Zaha and Fraser in the same window, as both players offer different styles and end product; the manager, due to the restricted budget can only bring in one, and this player could be Fraser over Zaha. The Bournemouth star would cost around £20 million, and this would allow Emery to invest further into the squad over other problem areas.
Alternatively, by re-igniting their interest in Fraser, Arsenal could be playing a tactical game of enticing Zaha further. They would be hoping Zaha could pressurise Crystal Palace into considering a sale and keep his dream of playing for the Gunners alive. Arsenal, a few days ago showed interest in Real Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez, but the chase of the Spanish winger was not considered concrete.
Interestingly, Arsenal could be really interested in Fraser and might actually sign the winger in the coming days. One reason would be his affordable price tag, apart from his industry on the pitch, something Arsenal need next season. For Fraser, it certainly could be a good move to move forward in his career. He will undoubtedly add more quality at Arsenal and flourish with other attackers at the Emirates.