Arsenal and Everton in battle with Euro giants for goal-scoring winger, out of contract in June - report
By Will Butcher
Arsenal and Everton are set to rival a whole host of European giants in a race to sign Lyon winger Rachid Ghezzal, according to a report.
French publication Foot Mercato claims the Premier League duo have contacted the 24-year-old’s representatives, despite Lyon tabling a £65,000-a-week offer to renew Ghezzal’s contract.
It is believed that Monaco, Atletico Madrid, Valencia and AC Milan are also keen on the Algerian attacker, who has less than six months remaining on his current contract in France and will be available on a free in the summer.
Everton are long-term admirers of Ghezzal, after French outlet Le 10 Sport claimed that the Toffees tabled a bid of £11.3million in August.
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Now, the Toffees face competition for the winger, with Arsenal also looking into the possibility of bringing the nine-time Algeria international to the Emirates Stadium.
Able to play on both flanks as well as acting as a playmaker in the number 10 role, Ghezzal’s versatility would provide cover for either Premier League side.
He got on the radar of the big clubs after a standout 2015/16 season when he scored eight goals and provided eight assists in just 29 Ligue 1 appearances.
Making 19 league and cup appearances for the Ligue 1 giants this season, Ghezzal has had a hand in seven goals. Scoring twice himself against St. Etienne and Monaco, Lyon’s number 11 has also provided five assists.
Football Insider verdict:
Lyon must be looking over their shoulder and panicking. They don’t want to lose Ghezzal but they’ve left it very late to try and keep him. It is reported that his current contract is worth less than £9,000 a week and they’ve tried to rectify that with a £65k a week offer. Will that be enough with the long list of suitors looking at his CV? Everton reportedly tried to get the player in the summer and will now be hoping the bigger clubs decide not to pursue Ghezzal on a free. Arsenal are also said to be looking at the player and it’s fair to say that he’d make a great addition to either squad. The next question is, will someone break ranks and try to secure his services in January and would Lyon be resigned to letting him go rather than losing him for free in the summer?
In other Arsenal transfer news, Joey Barton has revealed what cost him a move to the Gunners earlier in his career.