Arsenal are keeping a close eye on Dominic Solanke’s contract stand-off with Chelsea.
The 19-year-old forward looks set to leave the Stamford Bridge club at the end of the season after failing to agree terms on a new deal.
It has been reported he is looking to increase his salary from £7,000 a week to around £50,000 – demands Chelsea are not willing to meet.
A summer exit is now looking increasingly likely, with Blues boss Antonio Conte admitting: ”I think [he will leave], I am not sure, but I think this is his will.”
“I have spoken with him to try to understand his decision. It is normal. We must have a great respect for every decision.”
Liverpool have been linked with an interest in the free-scoring England Under-21 international, but Football.London has learnt that a switch to the Emirates is a real possibility.
The Gunners are long-term admirers of Solanke and a possible deal would not depend on Arsene Wenger remaining at the club.
But any negotiations will not be easy – with Solanke now being looked after by his step-dad. The striker used to be managed by Key Sports Management but cut his ties with the agency two years ago to go it alone.
Solanke’s camp are driving a hard bargain, with Chelsea having grown increasingly frustrated with demands that they believe are far too higher for a player who has made just one senior appearance for the club.
He has been with the west Londoners since the age of eight and has been a regular scorer for the youth teams, he netted 20 goals in 25 games for the Under-18s during the 2013/14 season.
Solanke was handed his senior debut by Jose Mourinho in October 2014 when he appeared as a substitute during a 6–0 win over NK Maribor in the Champions League.
The following season saw him join Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem on loan, he ended the campaign with seven goals in 25 appearances.
Since returning to England in the summer Solanke has been unable to force his way into Conte’s plans at Stamford Bridge, however, and has yet to make a single appearance under the Italian.
Chelsea will be entitled to at least £8 million in compensation due to rules regarding academy-trained players leaving before the age of 24.
Should Arsenal secure the signature of the Chelsea home grown star, this would surely anger the Blues fans, as many see the youngster as the future of their club and would want to avoid another “Lukaku” scenario.
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