Transfer News: Barcelona, Arsenal lead race to sign Nabil Fekir

Barcelona and Arsenal are reportedly at the front of the chasing pack in the race to sign Nabil Fekir from Real Betis this coming summer.

According to a report by Spanish outlet Estadio Deportivo, Barcelona and Arsenal are leading the race to sign Nabil Fekir from Real Betis in the summer transfer window. The French international is tipped to leave Los Verdiblancos after signing up with sports agency Promoesport.

Fekir joined Real Betis from Lyon in the summer of 2019 and has since been a mainstay in the first-team setup at the Benito Villamarin Stadium. Till date, the 27-year-old has turned out 63 times for the La Liga outfit, with 10 goals and 13 assists to show for his efforts.

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While the return might not be too impressive, the French international has been key to Manuel Pellegrini side’s positive displays, especially this season. His exploits for Real Betis seem to have attracted Fekir to a number of clubs as well. Liverpool and Manchester United were recently linked with a summer move for Fekir, who is now also a target for Barcelona and Arsenal.

Barcelona have been heavily linked with a Bosman move for Georginio Wijnaldum, but recent reports suggest that a move for the Dutch international might not be set in stone. As a result, the Catalan giants are having to scour the market for alternatives, with Rodrigo De Paul emerging as a possible target.

Fekir, though, also fits in the same category, thereby making him an option worth considering for Barcelona, especially with the player already well acclimatised in La Liga. Arsenal, on the other hand, are having to look for possible alternatives for Martin Odegaard, in case they are unable to land the Norwegian playmaker from Real Madrid on a permanent deal.

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Indeed, with Odegaard set to be priced quite heavily by Los Blancos, it is prudent for Arsenal to keep their options open, an outlook that has seen them consider a move for Paulo Dybala. To that end, Fekir is also a viable target for the Gunners.

Barcelona and Arsenal, as well as other prospective suitors, have also been handed a boost in the race to sign Fekir, who has signed up with sporting agency Promoesport, which possibly opens up the possibility of leaving Real Betis this coming summer. However, a €90 million release clause could be a stumbling block.

Having said that, the report suggests that the newly-elected Barcelona president Joan Laporta is laying down a plan to land Fekir despite the hefty exit clause. As for Arsenal, it remains to be seen if they can raise funds to land the Frenchman, or if they are forced to consider other targets this summer.

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