Arsenal have reportedly turned down a second offer from Crystal Palace for young striker Eddie Nketiah, with Mikel Arteta keen on keeping hold of him.
According to Sky Sports, Arsenal have rejected a fresh offer from Crystal Palace for wantaway striker Eddie Nketiah, with Mikel Arteta determined to keep hold of him beyond the January transfer window. The 22-year-old is out of contract at Arsenal at the end of the season and is open to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with an overseas club ahead of a potential summer move.
Nketiah has been with the Gunners since the age of 16 and made his senior debut in September 2017 under then-manager Arsene Wenger at the tender age of 18. Since then, the Arsenal academy graduate has shown flashes of brilliance but has largely failed to nail down a guaranteed place in the starting XI amid competition from the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel Martinelli, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang over the years.
To date, the 22-year-old has made 76 appearances for the North London club across all competitions, boasting a tally of 18 goals. The England Under-21 international has grown increasingly frustrated with his lack of minutes under Arteta and has yet to start a Premier League game for Arsenal this season. However, the youngster has sparkled in the EFL Cup with five goals in five outings before Liverpool knocked out the Gunners.
Despite his lack of experience at the top level, there seems to be no shortage of suitors for the highly-rated striker, with Premier League outfits Newcastle United and Crystal Palace expressing their interest in him, while Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen are offering on overseas route. But Palace have been pushing the hardest to prise Nketiah away from the Emirates.
Patrick Vieira is a big admirer of Nketiah’s talent and tried to sign the youngster last summer, but the deal collapsed, and they instead moved to bring in Odsonne Edouard from Celtic. They currently lack a genuine goalscorer, evident by the fact that none of their players have reached double digits in the Premier League this season, with midfielder Conor Gallagher leading the way with seven goals.
Nketiah has been a prolific goalscorer at youth level and is the all-time top scorer for the England Under-21s. However, for all his undoubted predatory instincts, his all-round play needs polishing. The Englishman is being viewed as a replacement for Christian Benteke, who looks past his prime years.
Arsenal have been left frustrated in their quest for a new striker this month, having seen Dusan Vlahovic move to Juventus. And with doubts surrounding the futures of Aubameyang and Lacazette, they would be reluctant to let any attacking players leave and risk being short of striking options.
As it stands, Mikel Arteta has stated his desire to keep Nketiah at the Emirates Stadium despite his contract situation. But the wantaway forward continues to battle for playing time in north London and looks set to leave after turning down fresh terms recently.
Arsenal will only sanction a deal for Nketiah if they can bring someone else in the striker department through the door by deadline day. It remains to be seen whether the Eagles will test Arsenal’s resolve with a third offer before the January window slams shut.