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Arsenal given Omar Rekik transfer boost amid Lille interest after ‘£51m’ admission

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Arsenal have quite the roster of youngsters coming through their Hale End Academy. Under-23s coach Kevin Betsy turned a side battling relegation in the PL2 to a title challenge this season.

However, with quality in the academy comes interest and Arsenal are already seeing the potential threat of clubs sniffing around. Centre-back Omar Rekik has impressed since arriving from Hertha Berlin in 2021.

The 20-year-old has already made his senior debut for the Tunisian national side and featured at the African Cup of Nations earlier this year. It is unsurprising he is on the list of a number of clubs.

The latest confirmed interested party is French side Lille according to RMC Sport. The Ligue 1 club have a good relationship with Arsenal after deals for Gervinho, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Magalhaes.

They view Rekik as a player who could be a future star for the team. However, they will face resistance from both the club and player who is very happy with how the club views him.

Rekik spoke recently about the potential for him to be worth quite the transfer fee in the future. However, pointed out that Arsenal are ‘serious’ about him.

“Of course, it would be a dream to be worth €60million (£51 million) or even more,” he said in an interview with Bild. “Because that would mean that I’ve made great athletic development. But sporting success is more valuable to me.

“I don’t have a specific goal. If Arsenal had waited a few months, they would have got me without a transfer fee. Now they have spent so much money on me. I want to repay that with performance. The club is serious about me, and I’m grateful for that.”

Despite Arsenal’s suggested seriousness in him, he faces quite the battle to break into the Arsenal first team. He has as many as four senior players in front of him.

Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes and Rob Holding all featured heavily for Mikel Arteta this season. William Saliba is also due to return and is said to be a key part of next season’s plans.

Perhaps Lille’s interest could emerge into a loan for the player. Arsenal have been open to their young starlets gaining experience at a senior level but have failed to see much value in player sales. Rekik’s ambitious future fee would be a welcome change for technical director Edu.

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