CHELSEA youngster Dominic Solanke has emerged as a shock target for Arsenal.
The 18-year-old forward is effectively holding the Blues to ransom, demanding a staggering £50,000-a-week contract to stay at Stamford Bridge – as well as assurances about his first-team future.
The Sun reports: “Arsenal are keen on taking advantage of the stand-off – although they aren’t willing to offer the kind of wages Solanke is said to be demanding.”
“(Arsenal manager) Arsene Wenger is, however, keen on giving the England Under-21 star a bigger role in the senior set-up than he currently enjoys at Chelsea.”
While he may not get the wages he’s after, Solanke would almost certainly be assured of a faster road to regular first-team football at the Gunners.
Wenger has an excellent track record for bringing through youngsters, having promoted the likes of Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Hector Bellerin and Alex Iwobi through the Emirates ranks.
Chelsea’s record in dealing with promising up-and-coming talent is quite the opposite – preferring to raid Europe’s top clubs for established stars – and does little to encourage Solanke to stay.
However, the Blues may be wary of letting another talented youngster leave.
They learned a harsh lesson after losing patience with and selling Kevin De Bruyne to Wolfsburg at the age of 22 back in 2014, with the Belgium international now playing a starring role for Manchester City after joining them earlier this season for £54million.
Would Solanke be better off joining Arsenal?