According to Spanish reports, Newcastle United and Arsenal could battle it out for the signing of Real Betis play-maker Nabil Fekir. The Magpies view him as a strong potential midfield target, but the Gunners could be out to seek revenge for Bruno Guimaraes.
Nabil Fekir was the star of the Ligue 1 with Olympique Lyon before his career slowed down due to several injuries. The Frenchman was linked with Liverpool, but a move to Anfield failed to materialise and he joined Real Betis in the summer of 2019.
The 29-year-old has made 129 appearances for the Spanish club, scoring 25 goals and assisting 25 times (stats via Transfermarkt). The attacking midfielder has also acquired 25 caps for the France national team but has featured for them last in 2020.
Arsenal have a long-standing interest in Nabil Fekir. During Unai Emery’s spell at the North London side, the French midfielder was continuously linked with a move to the Emirates stadium. The same now seems to happen under Mikel Arteta.
According to Fichajes (via Football 365), Arsenal seem to have revived their interest in Nabil Fekir and have expressed their intention to sign him. The North London side would have to fight Newcastle United for the midfielder’s signature.
The Magpies are looking to add more squad depth to challenge for a Champions League spot this season and are reportedly very keen on signing the Real Betis midfielder. Moreover, given the financial condition of the La Liga side, a move to the Premier League could be on the cards.
Nabil Fekir moved to Spain after leaving Lique 1 side Olympique Lyon to join Real Betis for a €19.75 million fee in 2019. He is a typical French player, being quick and well-balanced, and delivers dangerous crosses from either flank.
He is in charge of free-kicks at Betis as he can provide goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates. He is known for his attacking exploits. He can smoothly get himself out of opposition defensive presses owing to his amazing balance while on the ball. Dribbling and long-range scoring with his left foot can also be added to his footballing traits.
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) July 18, 2022
The 29-year-old has helped the Spanish club qualify for the Europa League by guiding them to a sixth and fifth-placed finish in the last two seasons. He was also in the team that won the Copa del Rey last season with a penalty shootout triumph over Valencia.
The Frenchman has impressed this season after a slow start, scoring three goals in his last few games. He ensured that his club advanced to Europa League knockout stages. According to Transfermarkt, Nabil Fekir is worth around €40m but Betis could allow the player to leave for less due to their difficult financial condition. He has signed a new deal this year that will keep him in Spain till 2026.
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Nabil Fekir would be a solid addition to the Arsenal squad despite them having Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe and Fabio Vieira in the similar position. he would surely jump at the chance to establish himself in the Premier League at this stage of his career.
The 29-year-old is again on the Gunners’ radar, although a move to Newcastle is more realistic, with the team fighting for the top-four and he will find it easier to slot into the starting eleven at St. James’ Park. Sven Botman, Bruno Guimaraes and Alexander Isak have been the club’s marquee signings since the Saudi takeover.
The Gunners have been looking at Ruben Neves and Youri Tielemans, who are likely to be prioritised. As good as Nabil Fekir is, Arsenal have been way better this season in competing at the top level, both domestically and in Europe, so they need a quality player that can take them closer to winning big trophies.
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