ODSONNE EDOUARD is heading for a £30million transfer tug-of-war.
Former Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers, who paid £9million for the French striker in June 2018 after a successful season-long loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain, is keen to take the 23-year-old frontman to Leicester City.
However, the Irishman is likely to face fierce competition from Arsenal gaffer Mikel Arteta who is preparing for a massive cash splash in the summer following a disappointing campaign.
Edouard has repeatedly knocked back extension offers from the Parkhead club and will depart during the pre-season with only 12 months to run on his contract.
A BHOY ALONE…Odsonne Edouard on look-out.
Rodgers will know the details of Edouard’s deal when he arrived from the French giants and could fashion an offer around that information.
The Hoops hierarchy, though, will not accept cut-price bids for their hottest property and will point to the £25million they received for left-back Kieran Tierney who joined the Gunners in July 2019 in a record Scottish transfer switch.
The ex-Celtic gaffer knows his Midlands outfit require more firepower with 34-year-old Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho in obvious need of support.
Edouard has had an erratic campaign this time around and has often looked well off the pace, despite collecting 21 goals, seven fewer than last term with only games against St Johnstone in Glasgow in midweek and Hibs at Easter Road to play before the end of an excruciating crusade for everyone connected with the club.
GOVAN GRIEF…Odsonne Edouard buries his face in his hands after an awful miss against Steven Gerrard’s side.
Arteta is an admirer of the forward and insists his squad “needs changing” after watching the team being knocked out of the Europa League semi-final by ex-Emirates chief Unai Emery’s Villarreal 2-1 on aggregate in London on Thursday while they are languishing in 10th place in the Premier League ahead of this evening’s visit of West Brom with four matches left to play.
Arteta was backed in last summer’s transfer window, bringing in Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, Lille defender Gabriel and former Chelsea forward Willian as a free agent.
The Spaniard cleared out the likes of Mesut Ozil, Sokratis, Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi to make space for newcomers in the summer.
Arteta, who is on the verge of overseeing the club’s first season without securing European qualification since 1996, said: “There were already a lot of changes in December, something that has not been done in years, but it tells us where we were.
“Things are going to have to change and the owners are going to back it up.”
BLOWN IT…Odsonne Edouard watches Allan McGregor save his feeble penalty-kick with Callum McGregor getting a close-up view.
Arsenal’s fans are losing faith in Arteta as results continue to deteriorate, with speculation now growing about his future, but when asked if he still backs himself to coach at a top club, he told Sky Sports News: “Yes”.
He added: “We know what has been going on inside here for the last 18 months. We know. We only know, the ones that are here. How we have built that is incredible.”
Edouard will come sharply into focus next month when the transfer window opens and there is still interest from AC Milan who have tracked the marksman for the best part of a year.