Arsenal have made initial contact with Bayer Leverkusen over French winger Moussa Diaby, after missing out on Mykhailo Mudryk.
Leverkusen do not want to sell the 23-year-old mid-season, having quoted €100m (£88.5m) to interested clubs in the summer.
Diaby’s contract in Germany runs until the summer of 2025. He has been at Leverkusen since 2019, when he signed from boyhood side Paris Saint-Germain.
The winger has eight caps for France’s national side, but missed out on their World Cup squad last year.
Arsenal are also keeping an eye on Raphinha’s situation at Barcelona – though it’s likely he will stay put in this window.
The Gunners had been close to securing a club-record transfer for Ukrainian winger Mudryk earlier in the January Transfer Window, but a late charge from Chelsea ended with the forward moving to Stamford Bridge instead.
Analysis: Diaby could give Saka much-needed rotation
Sky Sports’ Sam Blitz:
“Arsenal clearly want to bolster their frontline this January – and the position where they need the most attention is the right wing.
“Competition and backup are needed for Bukayo Saka, who was overused last season as Arsenal dropped out of the Champions League places at the end of the campaign. This season again he has barely been given a rest by Mikel Arteta as there is not much behind him in terms of cover.
“Fabio Vieira could play in that right wing role but is predominantly a central player, while teenage winger Marquinhos has only been trusted with one minute of Premier League football all season and has started just one game since the middle of October.
“Diaby shares plenty of characteristics with Saka which makes many feel like this interest in the Bayer Leverkusen winger is to help support the England attacker.
“The two-footed Frenchman has the most chances created via carrying the ball (29) in the Bundesliga this season, while his simpler statistics are promising as well.
“Only Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller has more assists and big chances created in Germany’s top-flight since the start of last season than Diaby. It is certainly good company.”
‘Would you get the best of Diaby at Arsenal?’
Dan Bardell speaking on Sky Sports News’ Transfer Talk:
“Moussa Diaby is an electric player who provides a lot of pace, key passes is one of his better traits along with carrying the ball. But he predominantly plays on the right-hand side. Looking at his stats, he’s scored six goals in 14 games playing from the right. But when he’s played anywhere else, he’s only scored one from 10.
“That tells me that his best position is on the right-hand side and Saka is the player in that position, he’s Arsenal’s number one man. If Arsenal sign someone like Diaby, he may not be playing in that position so would you be getting the best out of him?
“Arsenal were looking at Mudryk who plays on the left predominantly. We were talking about Ferran Torres or Raphinha. I think someone like Torres fits the bill better for Arsenal because he can play all across that front three. That’s what they need.
“Tottenham signed Richarlison because he can play in all three positions. Maybe he won’t play every week, but he can play in any of those positions when any of the front three is missing. That’s what Arsenal need.”
Arsenal are thought to be keeping an eye on Raphinha’s situation at Barcelona after missing out on Mudryk to Chelsea.
Mudryk was not the only forward player Arsenal have been looking at in this window and the club will remain prepared for an opportunity if it arises.
Raphinha is a player Arsenal were tracking last year.
The Gunners made a bid to sign Raphinha last summer when he was at Leeds, prior to the Brazil international winger completing a £55m move to Barcelona.
Who will be on the move this winter? The January transfer window opened on Sunday January 1, 2023 and closes at 11pm on Tuesday January 31, 2023
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