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Arsenal are set to make a third bid for Lorient forward Alexis Claude-Maurice after agreeing personal terms with the teenage forward.
Despite interest from Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Chinese Super League clubs in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal are determined to retain their star strikers and are prepared to offer both lucrative new deals this summer.
Unai Emery’s decision not to offer Danny Welbeck a contract extension, however, saw the experienced England international, who missed the majority of the Spaniard’s first year in charge with a serious ankle injury, released earlier this month, leaving Arsenal short of a versatile forward capable of deputising for last season’s top goalscorers.
Claude-Maurice is said to be keen on a move to north London where he would be reunited with his former teammate Mattéo Guendouzi, but Arsenal will need to up their offer for a third time to €20m after seeing a second bid rejected, according to Get French Football.
Former Arsenal and Lorient striker Jeremie Aliadiere, meanwhile, believes Claude-Maurice, who scored 14 goals in 35 starts last season, is definitely worth taking a gamble on.
He said: ‘For the money that we talk about I think he’ll make it. It’s about taking a gamble now when other teams aren’t prepared to.
‘The market has gone so crazy in the last few years. If you want a top level international it’s nothing cheaper than £40m.
‘If they’ve only got £45m to spend you’ve got to shop differently, go a bit younger and sign players from second divisions.
He’s a good player and has really good qualities. ‘At a club like Arsenal that gives chances to young players it would be a good step for him.
‘I remember incredible quick feet, a technical player. Technically he was amazing. The only thing – he was young at the time – was making the right decision, passing when you need to pass.
‘He was dribbling all the time when I was there. But he’s a very sharp, skilful player.’