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Arsenal have taken the lead to sign Moussa Diaby

Moussa Diaby 2022

According to L’Equipe (via SportWitness), Arsenal have taken the lead over Newcastle United to sign Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby this summer.

The Frenchman is one of the best wingers in the Bundesliga, and Leverkusen are prepared to sell him for £65 million this summer.

L’Equipe claim Arsenal and Newcastle are in the running to sign the 23-year-old, but the Gunners have taken the lead in the race over the past few weeks.

Swap deal

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has been touted to join Leverkusen this summer, and a deal could go through as soon as the Gunners find a suitable replacement for the Swiss international.

This could work in the north London club’s favour. Arsenal could use Xhaka in a potential player-plus-cash move to sign Diaby, who has been on their radar since the January transfer window.

Mikel Arteta’s side made an attempt to land the winger earlier this year, but were put off by the £88.5 million asking price.

They now have the opportunity to sign him for much less. Diaby has the ability to play on either flank, but could be seen as a competitor to Bukayo Saka on the right-wing next campaign.

Saka has been an undisputed starter for Arsenal in the position. Towards the back end of last season, the academy graduate suffered a dip in form, but Arteta had no suitable back-up for him.

The Spanish head coach may want to avoid the situation next season. Diaby would be a quality deputy for Saka, and he could be used in rotation when Arteta decides to rest the Englishman.

Next season could be more challenging for Arsenal. With the club’s return to the Champions League, Arteta may not have the luxury of resting his key players unlike in the Europa League.

This could add up to the fatigue and possibly increase the risk of injuries. Diaby, who accumulated 14 goals and 11 assists for Leverkusen last season, would be a fantastic signing for Arsenal.

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