Arsenal opened transfer talks with Rennes over their star forward Ismaila Sarr immediately after last Thursday’s Europa League defeat.
The Senegal international scored a flying 88th minute header to put the seal on a 3-1 win which puts the French side in the driving seat ahead of tonight’s second leg at Emirates Stadium.
Sarr, according to Goal France, was identified as a potential target by Sven Mislintat, the former Borussia Dortmund talent spotter who left Arsenal last month after just over a year in the job.
Mislintat is expected to be replaced by outgoing Roma sporting director Monchi, but Arsenal will reportedly press ahead with plans to sign the 21-year-old, regardless.
Sarr has scored nine times in the 35 appearances across all competitions this season and would provide Unai Emery with the pace and energy he craves in wide positions.
Denis Suarez was recruited on loan from Barcelona in January, but the Spaniard is yet to make a competitive start and has been restricted to just six substitute appearances.
Emery is likely to be armed with a modest transfer budget in the summer of around £50million, although that could be further boosted should Arsenal qualify for the Champions League, or manage to sell some of their biggest earners, including the likes of Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi.
Arsenal took a significant step towards cementing their place in the Premier League’s top four with a 2-0 home win over Manchester United on Sunday and remain favourites to progress to the quarter finals of the Europa League, despite last week’s embarrassing defeat.
Ahead of the return match, Emery said: ‘Tomorrow we need to be together and create a big atmosphere with our supporters to help us.
‘We need to play with high emotion, but taking clever/clear decisions on the pitch. These are both important issues. We need to control the 90 minutes, maybe more, we want to control but be on the game.’