Arsenal Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Leon Bailey and Olivier Giroud

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IDecember 24, 2017

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 28: Leon Bailey of Leverkusen looks on during the Bundesliga match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and 1. FC Koeln at BayArena on October 28, 2017 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Arsenal are reportedly in pole position to sign Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey, while Olivier Giroud's agent is set for "crunch talks" with the club about his future.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger had Bailey scouted during Bayer's recent games against Hannover 96 and Borussia Monchengladbach, and the club's scouts were impressed by his performances, according to Steve Bates at the Sunday People (h/t the Mirror).

The 20-year-old scored a brace in the 4-4 draw with Hannover before hitting the winner in the DFB-Pokal quarter-final win over Gladbach.

Bayer Leverkusen showed exactly what Bailey can bring to a team:

Bayer 04 Leverkusen @bayer04_en

Leon Bailey​: This 🔥 is just getting started! #StärkeBayer https://t.co/kbI17RkfUe

Scouted Football also demonstrated just how effective he has been this season:

Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl

Leon Bailey (20) has been directly involved in a goal once every 92 minutes across all competitions this season. • 1106 minutes • 8 goals • 4 assists B04 match-winner ⚫️🔴 https://t.co/667K6tjeCx

Per Bates, Arsenal are ahead of both Chelsea and Manchester United in the race to sign Bailey and are willing to spend £30 million to land the Jamaican.

Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller has said the club would have to consider offers for "crazy sums," per Stephan Uersfeld at ESPN FC.

Bailey joined Leverkusen on a five-year deal in January. He has scored six goals and provided four assists in 14 Bundesliga outings this season.

Arsenal, meanwhile, may be in need of attacking reinforcements, having already lost Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil's futures still uncertain.

Bailey has shown himself to be an exciting option this season, but luring him to the Premier League midway through the campaign will be difficult and potentially expensive.

Meanwhile, Giroud's agent, Michael Manuello, will be in London for discussions over the striker's future, with the Frenchman concerned his lack of playing time may adversely affect his FIFA World Cup 2018 hopes, per the Sunday Mirror's Tom Hopkinson.

Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud gestures to supporters on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 16, 2017. 
Arsenal won the game 1-0. / AFP PHOTO
GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

The 31-year-old has scored seven goals for Arsenal in all competitions this season, but he has started just once in the Premier League.

WhoScored.com showed just how effective Giroud has been coming off the bench for Arsenal:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Olivier Giroud: Has scored six more goals as a sub (12) than any other Premier League player since the start of the 2015/16 season Full player stats ➡️ https://t.co/nSqZ5oTi6P https://t.co/gP2dMjRoOo

However, Giroud picked up an injury in Arsenal's Carabao Cup win over West Ham United on Tuesday and could be out for six weeks, according to L'Equipe (h/t Metro's Tom Olver).

That would surely ruin any potential move away in January, and his future may well depend on the severity of his injury.