Arsenal have made a second bid for Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard, according to Duncan Castles of The Sunday Times. The Gunners reportedly had an initial offer of £15M rejected and have come back with £22M. The 22-year old scored 28 goals in all competitions for the Scottish side last season.
I’m of two minds about Arsenal’s possible interest in Edouard. He’s young, extremely talented, and looks to be a star in the making. In a vacuum, he’d be a great add. But the Gunners have a logjam at striker, so much so that highly rated 19-year old Folarin Balogun reportedly wants out because he doesn’t see a path to first team minutes.
The move makes more sense, however, if Arsenal are planning to sell Alexandre Lacazette. The general consensus was that Arsenal would keep one of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lacazette long(er) term. With a new Aubameyang contract coming soon, it could be that Lacazette’s days in North London are numbered. He has long been linked with a move to Atletico Madrid, and Juventus are also interested in his services.
The Gunners are reportedly looking to sell Lacazette for £35M-plus, which might be optimistic (or not — the market is tough to gauge right now). From some quick Google-ing, it seems that Lacazette would sell for more than Edouard would cost. That strikes me as a bit odd given the age difference and the directions in which they are both trending, but what do I know.
So let’s keep spinning the transfer fantasies. Arsenal somehow make some money shipping out Lacazette and bringing in Edouard. They free up some more cash by selling Emi Martinez for £20M and bringing in a backup at a lower number. They move Sokratis out for £5M. Suddenly they’ve got £25-30M in funds and are on their way to a flashy move for a midfielder like Thomas Partey or Houssem Aouar. Of course if they sell Lacazette and don’t buy Edouard, they are even closer to that shiny new midfield toy.
All that said, I’m not putting too much stock in this rumor. It’s not the first time Arsenal have been linked to Edouard. A single report of a “verbal offer” just doesn’t do it for me. I’m going to wait until more sources are independently reporting it and “formal offer” is being tossed around. But I’ll keep an eye on it — isn’t the transfer window fun?