Are Arsenal still interested in Moussa Diaby following his frustrating display against M'Gladbach?
By Alessandro Schiavone at BayArena, Leverkusen
Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 M'Gladbach
Arsenal and Man United target Moussa Diaby has produced nine Bundesliga goals in this positive 2022/2023 season.
But his goals tally could have hit double figures or even jumped up to 12 had he had his shooting boots on when Bayer Leverkusen surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 againat Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday.
It was far from an inspired performance from the 23-year old who fluffed a hat-trick of chances. Normally not someone who does anything by halves, he was nowhere near his best level. His body language wasn't right and it appeared that his self-confidence was on the floor following the elimination in the Europa League semi-final at the hands of AS Roma three days previously.
First he struck over with the goal gaping after Mönchengladbach's keeper had saved Amine Adli's initial attempt which dropped invitingly in his path. On his day he would have converted that rebound in his sleep.
Then the Paris-born right winger fired over with his strong left foot after a quickly-taken free-kick by Florian Wirtz.
And that it wasn't Diaby's best day became largely apparent around the BayArena when he curled the ball wide of the goal despite finding himself in a promising central position.
Sometimes everything he tried comes off. Yet against Die Fohlen nothing fell for him as he failed to make a case for a transfer to the Premier League this summer.
A goal on Sunday would have played him back into confidence having only scored twice in the last 12 Bundesliga fixtures.
Bayer Leverkusen have reportedly slapped a £69m price tag on his head which only a select few, including Premier League clubs and PSG, can afford to pay.
The player's dream, this outlet can report, is to join Real Madrid at some such stage in his career as Diaby prioritises a move to La Casa Blanca ahead of the Premier League.
Not that there's a risk of that happening right now anyway. With Arsenal having freshly tied down Bukayo Saka to a rich deal until 2027, it would be startling if they were to fork out such a significant amount on someone they don't need and who shares the same position as their current best player.
Yet not sure Manchester United or Newcastle would be prepared to offer him the parachute he needs either if they watched his most recent showing.