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Arsenal eye £42m winger as they consider pivot from striker pursuit

Arsenal eye £42m winger as they consider pivot from striker pursuit
Arsenal eye £42m winger as they consider pivot from striker pursuit

Arsenal may switch their focus to the signing of a wide forward instead of a striker after Benjamin Sesko’s transfer decision, according to a report.

Leipzig's Benjamin Sesko celebrates scoring during the German first division Bundesliga football match between RB Leipzig and Werder Bremen in Leipzig, eastern Germany on May 11, 2024. (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

On Tuesday morning, it was widely reported that Benjamin Sesko is set to stay with RB Leipzig this summer, despite interest from Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United.

Sesko had seemingly been one of Arsenal’s priority centre-forward targets, so the decision left many wondering which alternative striker the club would pursue.

On that front, there have been links to Joshua Zirkzee, but new reports suggest the Gunners may look to pivot to a new position instead.

BILBAO, SPAIN: Nico Williams of Athletic Bilbao celebrates scoring the 2nd goal during the Copa del Rey Semifinal match between Athletic Club Bilbao and Atletico de Madrid at San Mames Stadium on February 29, 2024. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Simon Collings reports for The Standard that Arsenal are indeed interested in Zirkzee, but they’re also looking at wide forwards, and may choose to sign a winger instead of a centre-forward.

Collings reports that Nico Williams of Athletic Club is among those Arsenal are eyeing up for a summer move.

Back in May, The Telegraph had reported that Arsenal might pivot to a winger instead of a striker, depending on which targets end up being available. It seems that’s now seriously on the cards.

AL KHOR, QATAR: Nico Williams of Spain in action during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Spain and Germany at Al Bayt Stadium on November 27, 2022. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

David Ornstein confirmed in May that Williams was among the options Arsenal liked, adding that there were other teams in the race, and no guarantee Williams would leave his current club.

The winger has a €50m (£42.1m) release clause, though his wage demands have often been touted as substantial, so a deal wouldn’t be cheap.

Yet Williams’ current club do seem to be preparing for his sale, sealing a deal for Alvaro Djalo of Braga as an apparent replacement.

Williams scored eight goals and provided 17 assists in 37 appearances for Athletic Club in 2023/24, and he’s now with Spain for Euro 2024.