Arsenal are likely to make another bid for Lorient forward Alexis Claude-Maurice after seeing their first offer knocked back by the Ligue 2 club, but they will face competition from West Ham.
Unai Emery has been a popular choice at Arsenal due to his willingness to give youth a chance and his pursuit of Claude-Maurice is another example of the direction he wants to take the Gunners.
It was reported last week that Arsenal had an opening bid of around £6.1m rejected by the Ligue 2 outfit, but Get French Football News have revealed the north London club are likely to table a new offer, this time in the region of £12m.
This news has been backed up by reporter Mohamed Toubache-Ter who was first to break the story on Matteo Guendouzi’s arrival to the Emirates last summer, also from Lorient. He tweeted on 30 May: “Arsenal will redo a second offer at the beginning of the week.”
The versatile attacker, who can play anywhere across the front line, scored 14 goals in Ligue 2 last term and is of interest to a host of European clubs. His arrival at the Emirates would provide well needed back-up for Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with the departure of Danny Welbeck imminent and the loan spell of Denis Suarez seen as a failure.
Eintracht Frankfurt have also had a bid in the same region knocked back, and Stade Rennais have made a formal inquiry about the 21-year-old. Other teams known to be keeping tabs on the youngster include Monaco, Lille, Mainz and Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Most recently West Ham have entered the bidding war and are thought to have tabled the highest offer so far of £10m. If reports are correct then Arsenal’s second offer will put them ahead of the Hammers as frontrunners for the youngster’s signature.
It is thought that Lorient intend to reject any bid below £13m and are hopeful to boost the final sum to around £17m including bonuses.
Arsenal seem favourites to sign Claude-Maurice and his friendship with Guendouzi is seen as potentially playing a factor. The former teammates were spotted together in London a few weeks ago.
Source : 90min Original article: http://www.arsenal-world.co.uk/news/tmnw/west_ham_make_pound10m_offer_for_ligue_2_star_alexis_claudemaurice_as_arsenal_pr_933048/index.shtml