Arsenal and Newcastle have an opportunity to sign Dominic Solanke this month with Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola admitting he is powerless to stop the striker leaving. But that is only if any clubs interested in the centre-forward pay the fee the Cherries will ask for their No. 9 which is at least £50million.
Only Erling Haaland and Mohamed Salah (both 14) have scored more Premier League goals than Solanke’s 12 this season. The 26-year-old has already doubled what was his previous best campaign in England’s top flight.
The England international’s form has seen him appear on the radar of Arsenal and Newcastle. The Gunners are searching for a striker to improve their ruthlessness in the final third while the Magpies have been dogged by injuries to frontmen Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak this term.
And Iraola admits if a club pay more than £50m then he cannot stop Solanke leaving before the January transfer window closes. Ahead of a showdown with Solanke’s former club Liverpool, though, the Spanish coach is hopeful he will still have the player at Bournemouth come February 2nd.
“I don’t have any power,” admitted Iraola. “We have an opinion [on whether we want to keep them] and there are always negotiations and if someone meets the expectations of the club then…
“But the expectations are really high so I don’t think that will be happening. I think Solanke will stay, but I can’t guarantee 100 per cent. He’s happy and performing well and everyone is happy with him.
“It would take something unnatural for him to leave. That is the same with the best players we have, and we know their worth and we appreciate them.”
Solanke would offer Arsenal or Newcastle greater physicality through the middle. The Londoners are also keen on Ivan Toney who would cost far more than Solanke, at nearer £100m, to leave Brentford this month.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for Solanke on Friday despite selling the Under-20 World Cup winner in 2019 after he returned one goal from 27 games for the Reds. Bournemouth paid £19million for the striker which has proven money well spent.
Klopp said: “I’m so happy for Dom, because when we signed him we were all so excited about the talent he is, and [he] had so much potential when he came here. I’m so happy for him because he’s a wonderful kid, a real talent and a real player.
“He went the hard way, trying here, realising maybe it’s a bit too early, then going to Bournemouth then doing it all the way is really cool.” On why it didn’t work out for the player at Anfield, Klopp added: “It’s Liverpool and we had other good strikers as well.
“He was probably at that time not the most clinical yet but the talent was obvious. And then, how it is sometimes, he made the absolute right decision to go to Bournemouth. [He] went there through all different stages and, last year, already scored enough goals and now he’s obviously up there with the greatest.”