Arsenal have been linked with a move for French World Cup-winning forward Nabil Fekir this week.
It was first suggested by The Mirror last month that Arsenal were keen on the attacker, who joined Real Betis last summer. Now, according to Diario AS, Arsenal will have to pay a fee in the region of £43.5 million to secure the services of the Frenchman.
Fekir would certainly be a decent acquisition for Arsenal but it seems they had a better chance of securing the youngster when Arsene Wenger was in charge.
That is, at least, what it seems from previous comments the player’s father made.
Mohamed Fekir was speaking to Le Parisien in 2014 when he suggested that if Fekir was to leave Lyon, it would be for Arsenal. The Gunners were being heavily linked with the youngster at the time, along with Premier League rivals Manchester City. But Fekir Sr made it clear that Wenger and Arsenal were first-choice.
“If he leaves, it will be for Arsenal. It is the only club that can enable him to progress, with Arsène Wenger. He will not go to Manchester City to sit on the bench.”
Times have, of course, changed. Arsenal were still regulars in the Champions League at the time and even won the FA Cup that season.
Now Wenger is gone and his replacement Unai Emery has since moved on with Mikel Arteta now in charge.
The Gunners are also no longer in the same financial position as they were in 2014-15, with a lack of Champions League football impacting their transfer budget.
So it could be that the club’s best chance to have Fekir in their ranks came and passed five or six years ago.