Arsenal are reportedly keeping an eye on Lyon striker Moussa Dembele ahead of what could be a busy summer at the Emirates Stadium.
With Mikel Arteta ready to revamp his squad following a dismal 2020/21 Premier League campaign, a new striker looks like it could be on the agenda.
The Daily Telegraph report that Lyon front man Dembele is that man. The 24-year-old impressed for the Ligue 1 side last term, netting 20 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions – including a brace in their Champions League victory over Manchester City.
Dembele started slowly this season, though, with just one goal in 16 Ligue 1 outings, and was shipped out on loan to Atletico Madrid in January, where he has made just six appearances.
Here is everything you need to know surrounding a possible switch to Arsenal.
Price tag and Atletico issue
The report from the Telegraph claims that Dembele – who hugely impressed in Scotland for Celtic before his move to Lyon – could be available for around £25million this summer.
There is, however, a sticking point Arsenal know all too well, with Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas notoriously difficult to negotiate with, as the Gunners found out last summer with Houssem Aouar.
Another potential issue for Arsenal is that current loan club Atletico Madrid are said to have an option to buy Dembele for around £30m. However, having struggled with fitness issues since his arrival it is up in the air as to whether the La Liga outfit look to make a permanent move.
Arteta has made it clear he wants improvements brought into his squad and with the futures of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah up in the air, there would be room for a goalscorer.
The Frenchman has had a difficult few months in Spain after joining Atletico on loan, however given what Lyon Sporting Director Juninho said about him wanting to leave in January – it looks unlikely he would return to France.
Speaking back in January, Juninho said: “Moussa came to see me, he thinks that this is the moment to change teams, that he has lost a bit of motivation, this was not something we foresaw, I like him a lot.”
Ending the six-year wait
The Telegraph report claims that Arsenal have looked into Dembele’s availability this summer, with the Frenchman currently on loan at Atletico Madrid.
This supposed interest isn’t new, though, with the Daily Record reporting back in 2020 that Arsenal have ‘maintained an interest’ in Dembele since 2015 – meaning it’s now six years of watching the former Celtic talisman.
Dembele has just over two years remaining on his current contract at Lyon, who have found goals from other avenues this season.
Could this finally be the summer the move is made?
Do you want all the latest news from around Arsenal Football Club straight to your email inbox?
Of course you do.
By signing up for our Arsenal newsletter, you will receive a twice-daily email, focused on all the latest news from the Emirates Stadium.
And, not only that, but you will get exclusive content from our club writers Chris Wheatley and Kaya Kaynak before anyone else.
You won’t miss a thing when it comes to the Gunners.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the Arsenal section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
Alternatively, you can click here and tick the Arsenal box to subscribe for our Gunners newsletter.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
Tierney’s glowing verdict
If Dembele was to move to north London, there would at least be one familiar face – former Celtic defender Kieran Tierney.
The duo played together – and shone together – during their time at Parkhead, and if Tierney’s comments from 2018 are anything to go by, he would more than welcome the addition.
“He is brilliant, Moussa,” Tierney told the Glasgow Times at the time.
“I remember one game where I fired a ball up to him and he took it on the chest and made a terrible ball from me look so simple. It actually finished up making me look good.
“Having somebody like that in your team is brilliant.”