By support

23rd Jun, 2017 | 4:27pm

PL rivals reach emphatic decision over £15m-rated Arsenal man - report

By Matt Farr

Watford have withdrawn from the race to sign Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs, according to a report.

The Standard claim that the Hornets are unwilling to meet Arsenal’s £15million valuation of the player, and have instead turned their attention to alternative targets.

Gibbs, 27, faces an uncertain future this summer after falling down the pecking-order for the left-back role in the first-team at the Emirates last season, with Nacho Monreal the current preferred option.

He earned just 11 appearances in the Premier League during the 2016-17 campaign, but the summer addition of Schalke full-back Sead Kolasinac has also raised further doubts over his long-term future.

However, while Arsenal have shown a willingness to let the 10-time England international leave the club this summer, they will not consider any offers below his £15million asking-price.

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But despite reported interest from several Premier League clubs, the excessive valuation of the player is proving problematic, with Watford the latest side to make the emphatic decision to turn their back on a potential deal.

Gibbs’ wage demands are also proving an issue to clubs outside the top-half of the Premier League, with the Arsenal man looking for a £20,000 increase on his current £60,000-per-week package.

Watford are now said to be pursuing a more affordable £8million deal to sign Middlesbrough full-back George Friend.

ESPN FC, meanwhile, report that Newcastle United have also distanced themselves from a move for Gibbs.

Football Insider verdict

Gibbs will no doubt struggle to earn regular opportunities in the first-team next season, but neither the player nor Arsenal are doing themselves any favours. Gibbs has talent, but he is not worth the £15million price-tag placed on his head. Meanwhile, even if a club proved willing to meet that valuation, the wage demands of the player could also threaten to derail a transfer. If Arsenal are to part ways with Gibbs this summer, they must considerably reduce their asking-price, while Gibbs must accept that a pay-rise may not be possible.

In other Arsenal transfer news, in the latest betting update the Gunners are the favourites to sign this two-time La Liga winner.

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