By Chris King •
Updated: 27 Sep 2023 • 1:42
Image of Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.
TALKS have reportedly taken place between Arsenal’s sporting director Edu and football agent Paulo Vernazza, whose client is Ollie Watkins.
Chelsea are also reported to be monitoring the Aston Villa striker whose solitary goal gave the Midlanders a 1-0 victory over the Blues at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, September 24.
According to footballtransfers.com, Edu has been in negotiations with the former Arsenal player Vernazza – who runs the Two Touch agency – over the possibility of Watkins moving to the Emirates Stadium.
The Villa forward is a known Gunners fan, and Mikel Arteta has also previously spoken openly of his admiration for the 27-year-old player.
However, tempting Watkins to make the switch down south might not prove to be an easy task, even for Edu, according to a source of the news outlet. They are led to believe that the striker is apparently demanding a salary in excess of £150,000 per week, plus a five-year contract.
Both London clubs have struggled to score goals in the Premier League so far this season. Brentford’s Ivan Toney has been mentioned as a possible target in the January transfer window.
The prolific goalscorer is currently serving an eight-month ban for breaching FA gambling rules but will be available by the start of 2024.
Whether Toney would be an ideal fit for Arsenal was pointed out by a club source who told FootballTransfers: ‘There are doubts within the club that Ivan Toney would fit into the Arsenal way. Arteta typically favours players with a disciplined and clean-cut image. Arteta has had previous disagreements with Toney and is concerned about his current situation’.
There were suggestions on Monday that Chelsea could see the return of Tammy Abraham. Since Romelu Lukaku arrived on loan at AS Roma, the Belgian has struck form and returned to his goalscoring ways. Abraham meanwhile is sidelined after suffering a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
According to calciomercatoweb.it, José Mourinho could be tempted to negotiate a permanent deal to keep Lukaku in Italy. It would seem very unlikely that his parent club, Chelsea, will be able to offload him in a straight sale when his wages are reputed to be a hefty £325,000 per week.
A possible solution that should suit all parties involved would be for Chelsea to use Big Rom as a ‘bargaining chip’ to get Abraham back to Stamford Bridge in January, or failing that, at the end of the season.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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