Arsenal could be tempted to explore the idea of a part-exchange deal for Ajax playmaker Mohammed Kudus, who has been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium before the end of the summer transfer window. The Gunners have already improved their squad with the additions of Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and Declan Rice but will be looking to add further quality over the coming weeks in advance of the new Premier League campaign.
Kudus has been mentioned in connection with a move to England since impressing for Ghana at last year’s World Cup, with Arsenal one of several clubs to have been credited with an interest in his signature. The north Londoners are keen on Kudus but are hoping to sell players before kicking off talks, according to the Daily Mail, while Ajax have reportedly valued their man at around £40million.
It remains to be seen whether Arsenal would be prepared to pay the full value of Kudus’ asking price, with the club having already spent upwards of £200m on player recruitment this summer. They could be inclined to throw in a player as they look to reach a compromise with Ajax, while such a move would also help to trim their squad as well as driving down the fee required to land Kudus.
Nicolas Pepe would seemingly be a candidate to be included in any player-plus-cash offer, with the 28-year-old having been deemed surplus to requirements by Mikel Arteta after spending last season on loan at Nice. Pepe was signed for a transfer fee of around £72m four years ago but has failed to make the grade in north London and is widely expected to leave the club at some point this summer.
He showed flashes of brilliance during his time at Nice, though, and still has plenty of time left to get his career back on track at the age of 28. It remains unclear if Ajax would be prepared to accept Pepe in exchange for Kudus given the former’s inability to succeed at Arsenal, but a move to the Eredivisie could prove beneficial for both parties if the Ivorian winger manages to find his feet once again.
Arsenal could also decide to offer Folarin Balogun to Ajax, with the United States international facing an uncertain future at the Emirates Stadium as things stand. He excelled on loan at Rennes over the course of last season and is said to have emerged as a target for Inter Milan, while Arsenal are reportedly willing to listen to offers in the region of £50m.
his prolific recent form and high ceiling for growth, which fits into the Dutch club’s tendency to develop young players before selling them for profit. Marquinhos might be another tempting makeweight for Ajax in any move to see Kudus join Arsenal, although the 20-year-old would require a greater deal of nurturing in order to reach his full potential.
The likes of Albert Sambi Lokonga and Auston Trusty could also be in the mix to be included in a swap offer for Kudus, although the likelihood is that Ajax would be looking for a ready-made replacement in the same position as their departing star. Only time will tell how the situation will end up playing out for Arsenal this summer, but it seems clear that a few players will need to leave the club in any case before further signings can be made.