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REPORT: Arsenal Offer £3m For Highly-Rated Centre-Back
Things appear to be hotting up as we approach the last two weeks of the January transfer window with the Daily Mail reporting that Arsenal have made an opening £3million offer to Nottingham Forest for highly-rated defender Jamaal Lascelles.
The 20-year-old has been a hugely impressive figure at the back for Forest this season and is tipped as a future England international having already represented the U-18, U-19 and U-20 sides.
Reports in recent weeks have suggested Arsene Wenger has been sending chief scout Steve Rowley to watch Lascelles in action and he was spotted in the stands during Forest’s clash with Bolton last weekend. Rowley has been instructed to compile a detailed dossier on the centre-back both on and off the field – as is customary at Arsenal for potential new signings.
The Mail are claiming that we’ve now made our move for the defender with an initial offer of £3m that will increase based on various factors such as appearances. However, we’re not the only one’s on the case with Newcastle also believed to have submitted a superior offer.
Forest boss Billy Davies is desperate to keep hold of Lascelles and it’s understood they would only consider cashing in on the talented defender this month if the deal involved loaning the player back to the City Ground for the second half of the season.
This is a deal that should suit all parties as Lascelles is highly unlikely to get much playing time at Arsenal, if we do end up agreeing a deal, so it would make sense for him to stay at Forest to help with their promotion push from the Championship before linking-up with us in the summer.
However, I’m not convinced by the Mail’s account on things. It was widely reported back in 2011 – when we were first linked with Lascelles – that Forest rejected a £5m bid from Arsenal, so why on earth would be now bid just £3m + add ons three years later when the player is far more developed and therefore more valuable?
I’ve no doubt we hold a strong interest in the youngster and we may even have made a bid, but I’m not sure the offer would be as low as £3m, as the Mail claims.