Arsenal are reportedly pushing to beat Everton to the signing of Lyon winger Rachid Ghezzal, who was the subject of a £12m bid from the Toffees last summer.
As reported by The Sun, Everton had been keen on signing the talented winger in a big-money deal before the start of the season.
However, with his contract expiring this summer, he is likely to be available in a cut-price deal in January.
While it appears as though Arsenal are keen to take advantage of the situation as Lyon will want to avoid losing him on a free transfer if he doesn’t sign a new deal, the Gunners are only set to make a summer swoop.
It’s added that Everton had reached an agreement with Lyon over a £12m transfer, but Ghezzal himself rejected the move as he wanted to join a bigger club.
Further, it’s claimed that his representatives have made contact with the Gunners over a possible switch in the summer, and it may well interest Arsene Wenger as it would of course mean bringing in a talented individual without splashing out on a hefty transfer fee.
Nevertheless, it’s still questionable as to whether there is even a need for Arsenal to sign Ghezzal with the attacking options currently at Wenger’s disposal, particularly in the wide positions.
With the likes of Alex Iwobi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Lucas Perez all deployed on the flanks this season, adding Ghezzal to the squad would be a questionable decision even if on a free.
Nevertheless, the report claims that the north Londoners are interest and will be in the running at the end of the season for the Algerian international.
Rachid Ghezzal was a crucial member of the Lyon side that stormed up the Ligue 1 table during the second half of last season to clinch the runners-up spot behind unassailable leaders PSG.
Ghezzal was a left winger in the Lyon youth ranks but playing on the right flank from last season. With Ghezzal on the right, Lacazette in the middle and Cornet on the left, Lyon are arguably Ligue 1’s finest attacking side.
Ghezzal was brilliant during the second half of last term – but it was the first time in his career that he’d produced a decent run of form, which raises the question of why it took him so long.
The player and his advisors would argue that Hubert Fournier – the Lyon manager before current boss Genesio took the reins – never gave Ghezzal a chance to show what he could do. That may well be true, but if Ghezzal were really a top-class player, wouldn’t he simply forced his way into the side?
Ghezzal has also failed to maintain last season’s impeccable standards: his 2016/17 performances have been fitful, with the ongoing contract negotiations and then injury problems upsetting his form.