Report: 'Complete' player linked with Arsenal is now set to join London rivals, talks in 'final stages'
Arsenal have been linked with Lens star Cheick Doucoure in recent weeks.
The Mirror claimed back in May that the Gunners had set their sights on the 22-year-old midfielder.
However, it looks as though Arsenal will be beaten to Doucoure’s signature by Crystal Palace.
The Guardian reported on Tuesday afternoon that the Eagles have agreed an initial £18million fee for the Mali international.
Palace, who had an initial £14million bid rejected, ‘returned with an improved bid potentially worth more than £22million’.
Fabrizio Romano then took to Twitter to share the update, tagging Guardian journalist Ed Aarons.
The transfer guru wrote that negotiations are in their “final stages”, with work in progress on personal terms.
Arsenal have already signed Fabio Vieira this summer, so they have a new midfielder in place.
The Gunners have also reportedly cooled their interest in Leicester’s Youri Tielemans.
Nonetheless, Doucoure would’ve been a great addition to the Arsenal ranks, particularly for such a (reportedly) low fee.
‘He’s incredibly complete’
“Cheick knows how to do everything on the pitch,” football.london quotes Lens teammate and captain Seko Fofana as saying.
“He works in the shadows and, for me, he is very important. He’s incredibly complete. He’s one of the best players I’ve played with.
“He knows how to shoot from distance, how to pass, break the lines, dribble and defend.”
And in February 2021, scouting website Breaking the Lines wrote a in-depth analysis article on Doucoure.
‘If there’s a stylistic summary for you to take away from this article, let it be this,’ they wrote.
‘Cheick Doucoure works incredibly hard, covering large areas of the pitch in both a defensive and attacking sense, but he’s also both technically and mentally very acute.
‘His concentration and defensive awareness to proactively disrupt the opposition and retain possession in a simple but highly effective manner make him an incredibly underrated talent emerging from France.
‘He can also test the goalkeeper with well-struck curling efforts, as (Dimitry) Bertaud, Anthony Lopes and Denis Petric have found out in recent weeks.’
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