The Gunners boss who faced down his critics and declared his intention to stay in north London to the end of his current deal at the very least, targeted 24-year-old Nabil Fekir and is willing to go to €50m to land the midfielder.
Two goals in Lyon’s 3 – 1 win over Villarreal in the Europa League this week underlined the France international’s goalscoring potential. Arsenal currently lack a consistent goalscoring option from the middle of the park and the over-reliance on their central strikers is costing them dearly as they slip to sixth in the Premier League.
In the same way Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 29, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 27, gelled at Borussia Dortmund before being reunited at the Emirates, Wenger hopes Fekir’s understanding with Alexandre Lacazette will bring a spark to the striker’s game.
The former Lyon man, signed for £52.7m last summer, is out injured at present but endured a barren run stretching to eight games before scoring against Crystal Palace.
While French scout Gilles Grimandi is keeping tabs on the midfielder, head of recruitment Sven Mislintat will have a big say in whether the club launches a bid for Fekir. Raul Sanellhi joined Arsenal recently to take over transfer negotiations and will deal with Lyon while Wenger’s only input will be to persuade the player to move to north London.
Times at Arsenal are a-changin’.