Crystal Palace have reportedly ended their pursuit of Eddie Nketiah who looks set to remain at Arsenal beyond the summer transfer window.
According to David Ornstein of The Athletic, Crystal Palace have turned their attention away from securing Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah this summer.
The Eagles have been linked with a number of strikers this summer and were keen on the 22-year-old Arsenal star. Having joined Arsenal from Chelsea in 2015, he has gone on to make 65 appearances for the club, scoring 13 goals and assisting one more.
Nketiah is far from a regular for Arsenal and has competition from the likes of Gabriel Martinelli and Folarin Balogun. He is hardly assured of making the cut at the Emirates. A move to Crystal Palace Palace could have given him an opportunity to rebuild his career. However, he appears to have missed that bus.
Crystal Palace were said to have put a three-year offer on the table for Nketiah and were in negotiations with Arsenal regarding the transfer. A major point of contention was the Gunners’ asking price of £20 million.
While Arsenal were willing to lower their asking price to around £15 million, the Eagles were only prepared to fork out around £10 million. With discussions not making much headway, Crystal Palace have now shifted their attention elsewhere.
The Londoners primarily appear to be focussed on Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard, who is himself in the final year of his contract. The Frenchman is at a higher stage in his development in comparison to Nketiah and could be available for an agreeable sum.
Also capable of playing on the right wing, Edouard is an excellent addition to a rather disappointing Palace frontline. The Eagles have struggled to find the back of the net in the last two seasons and were among the league’s poorest scorers. Bringing in a clinical striker will not just take the weight off Wilfried Zaha, but also amplify the creative abilities of Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise.
The 23-year-old has a better track record than Nketiah and offers better value for money. If anything, Arsenal’s reluctance might have handed Crystal Palace a welcome reprieve. Unless something changes in the final few hours of the window, the youngster looks set to stay on at Arsenal this season.
Mikel Arteta is now left with a player who is far from ready to lead the Arsenal attack but is also on an expiring contract. Playing hardball with Crystal Palace Palace has done the Gunners little favour and Nketiah could very well depart on a free in a year’s time. For now, the only winner from this short transfer saga are Crystal Palace.