Arsenal and Chelsea are reportedly closely monitoring the situation of 18-year-old striker Ali Akman, who could leave Bursaspor soon.
According to a report by Daily Mail, Ali Akman has emerged on the radars of London giants Arsenal and Chelsea over a possible move in the January transfer window. The 18-year-old wonderkid has also been courting interest from Red Bull Salzburg and Galatasaray, and could leave Bursaspor this month.
Akman joined Bursaspor from Inegolspor in 2015 and has since enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom at the Turkish club. After making swift progress in the Green Crocodiles’ youth setup, the teenager broke into the first-team squad last season and went on to make 25 appearances in all competitions with 4 goals and an assist in those outings.
The 18-year-old has stepped up massively this term, though, with a solid return of 9 goals and 4 assists in 18 appearances thus far. The youngster’s progress has certainly not gone unnoticed, with a number of clubs setting their sights on him. In fact, Red Bull Salzburg and Galatasaray lodged a bid for him in December and now, Arsenal and Chelsea are also showing an interest in him.
At Arsenal, Mikel Arteta is starting to put his faith in the youngsters following the failures of Willian since arriving from Chelsea. Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka are now pivotal figures for the Gunners, with Gabriel Martinelli also establishing a foothold in the squad since returning from a long-term injury.
The interest in Akman, though, is interesting, considering Arteta has several strikers at his disposal in Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Alexandre Lacazette and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Having said that, the interest in Patson Daka suggests that Arsenal remain in the market for a striker, making Akman a viable target as well.
Chelsea, on the other hand, could be forced to scour for a striker due to Olivier Giroud’s uncertain future at the club. The Frenchman has recently been linked with a move to Juventus, meaning Frank Lampard could be left with Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham as the only other strikers available to him.
With a spot likely to open up in his squad, the Chelsea boss could do with someone like Akman, who can be moulded in his image, while Dries Mertens has also been linked with the west London club. Apart from Arsenal and Chelsea, clubs from Germany, Italy and France are also keen on signing the teenage prodigy.
The London giants, apart from the other suitors, do seem to have an advantage in his pursuit, as he is unwilling to sign an extension on a deal that runs out in the summer, meaning he could be available for as little as £3 million this month. What now remains to be seen is if Arsenal and Chelsea do launch the offensive for him for a January move or if he moves elsewhere.