Arsenal have now expressed an interest in a transfer for Montpellier striker Elye Wahi following Gabriel Jesus’ knee surgery but must fight Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

That is according to TEAMtalk, which reports that Arsenal have just approached Montpellier to discuss a transfer for Wahi. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta feels the Emirates Stadium natives must explore improving to their striking options with Jesus sidelined for the next few weeks.

Arteta has confirmed that Jesus will sit out the Community Shield and the first few weeks of the Premier League season. The Brazilian underwent surgery on Wednesday after reporting discomfort in the knee he injured at the World Cup. The issue had kept him out until March.

Arsenal transfer target Elye Wahi of Montpellier in action against Stade de Reims
Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images

Why Pele Is Overrated.

Gabriel Jesus’ knee injury sparks Arsenal to target Elye Wahi

Jesus’ absence leaves Eddie Nketiah, the perennially exit-linked Folarin Balogun, Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard as viable options for Arteta. But Arsenal have approached Montpellier to discuss a transfer for Wahi. He is among the most promising young strikers in France now.

Chelsea have already started targeting Wahi’s transfer but are yet to agree terms for the 20-year-old. The Blues hoped to agree a swoop with Montpellier before loaning the France U21 international to Strasbourg. But Wahi is reluctant to join Chelsea’s new sister club if he joins.

Arsenal are also now complicating Chelsea’s interest by launching their own approach. They are not alone, though, as Fulham and West Ham United would also like to lure the versatile youngster to London. He can feature on the wing or through the centre and have an impact.

Arsenal transfer target Elye Wahi of Montpellier in action against OGC Nice
Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images

Wahi has made 84 career Ligue 1 appearances and offered 32 goals plus nine assists. He hit home 19 times and laid on six of his assists through 33 games in 2022/23. Now, Wahi’s form could secure him a transfer to Arsenal, who he adores, but Montpellier will demand £34.5m.

“His agent is in discussion with four or five big clubs,” Montpellier president Laurent Nicollin revealed back in June, via quotes by Fabrizio Romano. “We know that he likes Arsenal a lot.”

Montpellier president confirms Chelsea and Tottenham’s interest

Montpellier president Nicollin recently confirmed that Chelsea have already failed with a bid for Wahi’s transfer this summer. He has also admitted interest from Tottenham in the striker. And Nicollin expects Spurs to submit a bid of their own should they agree to sell Harry Kane.

“We had an offer from Chelsea a week ago [and] we thanked them but we refused,” Nicollin told RMC Sport this Friday. “We wait. I had Tottenham, who are interested and they should move soon. There is also [Eintracht] Frankfurt.

Arsenal transfer target Elye Wahi of Montpellier celebrates against Stade de Reims
Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images

“The game of musical chairs, if Kane leaves from Tottenham and/or [Randal] Kolo Muani from Frankfurt, automatically, things will change. We also learned that Benfica was interested. We are in no rush. If he stays, he will stay, there will be no worries.

“We sold [Stephy] Mavididi and probably [Maxime] Esteve. Afterwards, Elye said he wanted to leave, we came to an agreement with his agents. We work together. Afterwards, I’m surprised that such a good youngster didn’t leave so soon.”

Reports by The Times at the end of July claimed that Montpellier rejected a £23m offer from Chelsea for Wahi. And given La Paillade president Nicollin has confirmed other clubs are also interested in his transfer, Edu will have to pay Montpellier a lot more for Arsenal to sign Wahi.

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