Transfer News: Arsenal leapfrog Liverpool in Jonathan Ikone pursuit

Arsenal are reportedly ready to explore the opportunity of signing Lille forward Jonathan Ikone, with Liverpool cooling their interest in him.

According to an exclusive report by Anfield Central, Liverpool’s talks with Jonathan Ikone’s agent have broken down and Arsenal could now explore the opportunity to sign the French attacker, who is valued at around £40 million. Ikone was one of Lille’s star performers in their triumphant Ligue 1 title-winning campaign.

Wage demands closer to £150,000-a-week have been cited as the reason for Liverpool cooling their interest in Ikone. The Reds were in talks with the versatile attacker’s agent for some time, although those conversations are no longer prolonged. Liverpool were in the market for a versatile attacker, but now they will focus on other targets.

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Arsenal are now credited with an interest in Ikone, and there are indications that the Gunners will look to explore the idea of signing him. However, Arsenal could face the same difficulties as Liverpool, given their financial situation.

Ikone played 37 times in Ligue 1 last season, with a decent return of four goals and five assists. His numbers may be overshadowing his overall influence on the Lille side, as he was one of their top performers in a successful league campaign. Owing to his influence, Lille are demanding £40 million for the attacker.

Arsenal are in the market for an attacker, and Martin Odegaard has been their primary target this window. There are indications that Odegaard might prefer to stay at Real Madrid after Carlo Ancelotti took over the reins. Hence, Arsenal are exploring other targets, and Ikone is one of them.

The north Londoners also missed out on Argentine playmaker Emiliano Buendia, who signed up for Aston Villa two weeks ago. Arsenal also have a list of other targets, but right now, there’s not much substantial interest in any of them.

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Ikone is known to play primarily as a right-winger, although he can play on the left flank or through the centre. His versatility ticks many boxes for Arsenal, much similar to Odegaard. The asking price might be a stumbling block for Arsenal, and so could be the wages his agent is demanding.

The next few weeks will determine if this interest in Ikone is concrete enough for serious consideration or just paper talk. Arsenal’s interest in their other targets could also determine the same, but Liverpool are surely set to turn their attention elsewhere this summer.

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