Arsenal have reportedly been knocked back in their attempts to sign Sporting CP winger Gelson Martins after the Portuguese club rejected an opening bid from the Gunners.
According to Portuguese outlet A Bola, Arsenal offered €30m (£26m) for the 23-year-old.
Martins was apparently less than pleased that the bid was rejected as he is said to be keen to leave the club where he has been since the age of 15. It follows a recent attack on the club’s training ground by a group of 50 masked thugs.
Martins is said to have a €60m (£52.7m) release clause in his contract. And while Sporting are not holding out for the full value of that, their minimum asking price is apparently €45m (£39.5m).
It would mean Arsenal need to up their initial offer by as much as 50%, or give up the pursuit and look elsewhere if they want to sign an attacking player this summer.
Cape Verde-born Martins is part of Portugal’s World Cup squad and his club will hope that, if a sale is inevitable, strong performances for the national team in Russia help drive up his price.
As far as attacking options are concerned, Arsenal already have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil, Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi.
It may be that defensive and midfield targets continue to be the priority after the signing of Stephan Lichtsteiner and the expected arrival of Sokratis Papastathopoulosto give new coach Unai Emery the best possible chance of returning the Gunners to the Champions League.