A player reportedly sought after by Arsenal is believed to have signed a pre-contract agreement with another Premier League side, according to France Football.
It was claimed by French outlet Jeunes Footeux in February that the Gunners were closing in on a deal for Le Havre defensive midfielder Pape Gueye.
Arsenal were reported to have pipped Spanish side Sevilla and Italian trio Udinese, Fiorentina and AC Milan to the 21-year-old’s signature.
It was previously believed that Gueye’s contract with Le Havre ran until 2021 and that the Gunners were set to purchase him for around £5million.
The France Football report, however, has claimed that the former France Under-19 international is actually out of contract this summer and signed a pre-contract agreement with Watford.
According to the French outlet, Gueue has penned a five-year deal at Vicarage Road, where he will link up with compatriots Etienne Capoue and Abdoulaye Doucoure.
A bizarre story here, as a player believed to have had over a year left on his contract is now being reported to not only have a much shorter deal, but that his future has already been sorted.
No official confirmation has emerged from either Watford or Le Havre, while the player’s representatives denied those claims yesterday, according to the Watford Observer.
However, the outlet then added: “It is now understood that a deal is in fact in place for the player, who had the remainder of his season cancelled (in wake of the global health crisis).”
It’s a shame for Arsenal, who appear to have missed out on a talented, young and fairly inexpensive defensive midfielder, whose playing style has been described by Estadio Deportivo as a “hybrid of N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba”.
Nonetheless, if that’s the case, back to the drawing board it is.