KEY POINTS

  • Arsenal is looking to close the deal with teen goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo
  • Okonkwo receives interest from teams in France, Belgium and Portugal
  • Okonkwo demands a bigger payday in new deal with Arsenal

Arsenal knows that it needs to move as fast as it can if the club intends to fend off suitors trying to recruit their young players.

One name that has drawn international interest is Arthur Okonkwo.

The 19-year-old has reportedly drawn interest from teams in France, Belgium and Portugal.

The Gunners want to strengthen their hold on Okonkwo although closing a new deal will not be easy. There are several things to consider.

At the top of it, all is the money on the table. The teen shot-stopper is reportedly seeking roughly £20,000-a-week ($27,900 per week) from the Gunners.

While he is undoubtedly talented, the twist here is that the English footballer has not yet proven himself at the senior level.

Okonkwo has so far made three Europa League matchday squads and appears to have drawn the fancy of Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners plan to keep him for the 2021-22 season. However, this is on the assumption that he accepts a new contract.

The English goalie allegedly wants an annual pay of £1 million ($1 million). and this is seen as the major stumbling block.

While he is good, another problem that Arsenal has to consider is his health issues. Okonkwo missed most of last season and has only started to get into the groove of things recently.

Seeing how Arsenal has not exactly had a reliable goalkeeper last season with Bernd Leno and Alex Runarsson, Okonkwo could be in line to take up from there.

Just last month, word got out that discussions between Arsenal and Okonkwo appeared to be progressing.

He held positive talks with Edu and Arteta over a new deal since his contract is set to expire at the end of the season.

It was in March when the teenager seemed to be all set to leave the Emirates Stadium. There was no new deal on the table until the recent developments, Football London reported.

Arsenal goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo Arsenal goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo Photo: Getty Images | MB Media

The shift in focus on Okonkwo makes sense. Leno is open to moving on from Arsenal, while Mat Ryan is on loan from Brighton.

It leaves Runarsson as the only one available for the Gunners.

If the Gunners can close in on Okonkwo, he would be the next teenager to sign with the club.

The last one was Folarin Balogun, who ended up signing a new lease instead of parting ways with the Gunners.