Arsenal plan surprise move for Leeds United star – meaning Gunners forward will leave: report

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta gestures during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on January 22, 2023 in London, England.
(Image credit: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Arsenal are set to launch a shock bid for a Leeds United star, according to reports.

The Gunners have raided Premier League clubs successfully of late. January's transfer window saw manager Mikel Arteta pivot away from Mykhaylo Mudryk and Moises Caicedo to bring in Leandro Trossard of Brighton & Hove Albion and Jorginho of Chelsea – with both providing instant impacts.

Last summer, Arsenal signed two Manchester City stars in Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus. Both of whom have been credited with having an impact on the north Londoners' title aspirations. 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta with defender Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Oleksandr Zinchenko has added much-needed experience to Arsenal's title challenge (Image credit: Getty Images)

Now, Arsenal could repeat this recruitment pattern with a bid for Leeds star, Wilfried Gnonto.  

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian international will almost certainly leave Elland Road if the Yorkshire outfit is relegated, with no shortage of suitors interested in his services. Arsenal are one of the more surprising names, given their wealth of attacking options in the squad. 

The Gunners boast Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah as options to play at No.9 with Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Leandro Trossard, Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson as wide players. They also have academy graduate Folarin Balogun, who's scored 17 goals in Ligue 1 this season on loan at Reims under manager Will Still.

Gnonto would likely slot in on the left flank for the Gunners, though, perhaps spelling an end for one of the north Londoners' other forwards. Should the Leeds star move to the capital, surely one of Arteta's other forwards would have to be sacrificed as part of the move. 

Wilfried Gnonto of Leeds United celebrates their sides second goal during the Premier League match between Leeds United and AFC Bournemouth at Elland Road on November 05, 2022 in Leeds, England.

Wilfried Gnonto could be moving to the Emirates Stadium (Image credit: Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

The report adds that both Manchester City and Chelsea are interested in the teenager.

Gnonto is valued at €18m by Transfermarkt

More Arsenal stories

The rumour mill is going into overdrive with Arsenal leading the way in the race to sign Declan Rice. One source claims a contract has been agreed with the midfielder, though Manchester City are interested, too. West Ham apparently have a successor lined up.

In other rumours, Raheem Sterling is being targeted, with a centre-forward on the wishlist, according to reports. A bid for Raphinha has been revealed while Rasmus Holjund of Atalanta is on the radar, too. January target Ivan Fresneda is still wanted by the Gunners, as well. 

Meanwhile, Chelsea star Mykhaylo Mudryk – who turned down Arsenal in the winter window – has addressed his supposed unhappiness at Stamford Bridge

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.