ARSENAL, who have been linked with a second successive summer raid on Celtic, are concentrating their transfer thoughts elsewhere.
The London side, who paid a Scottish record fee of £25million for Kieran Tierney in August last year, have reportedly been keeping tabs on striker Odsonne Edouard.
Of course, a lot of it is paper talk to fill the void created by the coronavirus pandemic lockdown that has brought worldwide football to a halt.
Plus the Frenchman, who had scored 28 goals before the game went into cold storage, has two years to run on his Parkhead contract and, as fellow-countryman Christopher Jullien was reported saying in CQN at the weekend, the Hoops talisman is perfectly happy with life at the champions.
Twenty-two-year-old Edouard cost a club transfer high of £9million when he arrived from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2018 after an impressive season-long loan period.
It is reckoned the French giants will have inserted a fairly hefty sell-on clause, so talk of the Hoops hierarchy being prepared to sell their hottest property for something in the region of £25million is way off the mark.
So, while all sorts of speculation rages away across the border, two things are certain – Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is mulling over a move for Chelsea’s attacking midfielder Willian who is poised to quit Stamford Bridge at the end of his contract in June.
DIDN’T HE DO WELL…Odsonne Edouard celebrates his second goal in Celtic’s 4-0 win at Fir Park in February.
However, Arteta has been told he will be working with a severely restricted transfer budget and that will create its own difficulties for the Spaniard.
The Brazilian international, who will be 32 in August, is demanding a three-year deal which will be worth a basic £18.72million without any add-ons.
Willian is holding out for a whopping £120,000 per week and the Emirates outfit are now pondering if the switch is financially feasible.
The player’s agent, Kia Joorabchian, has become an increasingly influential figure at the Emirates over the past year.
He also represents the Gunners’ technical director Edu – and negotiated the signing of Brazilian central defender David Luiz from Chelsea last summer.
To bring in much-needed cash, Arsenal are prepared to sell captain and frontman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for £30million.
The situation at the London club is threatening to become a saga as rookie boss Artata attempts to put his stamp on the team.
Meanwhile, Celtic can do little to prevent Edouard being linked with clubs all over the place and he has also been mentioned alongside Leicester City – and his ex-Hoops gaffer Brendan Rodgers – and Newcastle in the Premier League while a couple of teams in his native France are said to be keen.
Thankfully, Edouard is not the sort of player to be caught up in transfer speculation and is ready to do the business on the pitch when football eventually returns.