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Arsenal transfer news: Arteta handed surprise boost in pursuit of Victor Boniface

Cameron Smith
Ivan Toney, Arsenal
© ProShots

Arsenal have received a surprise boost in their pursuit of Bayer Leverkusen striker Victor Boniface, who is seen as an alternative to Brentford’s Ivan Toney.

The 23-year-old joined Xabi Alonso’s side for €20.5 million from Union Saint-Gilloise in 2023 and he has scored 16 goals and provided eight assists in his first six months in Germany.

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Boniface’s electric start to life at Leverkusen has attracted widespread transfer interest, with Arsenal, Chelsea, West Ham United and Newcastle United reportedly all keen on acquiring his services.

The Sun have reported that West Ham plan on breaking their transfer record to beat Arsenal and Newcastle to Boniface, while Arsenal are also scouting the Nigerian, according to CBS Sports.

However, the Leverkusen star is currently sidelined through an adductor injury, which ruled him out of representing his country at the Africa Cup of Nations.

To combat Boniface’s absence, Bayer Leverkusen are targeting a move for Real Betis forward Borja Iglesias, as per Fabrizio Romano.

The transfer expert posted on Facebook: “Bayer Leverkusen have now made formal approach to sign Borja Iglesias. Bayer and Real Betis are in talks, loan with buy option clause offered today.

“Betis are only open to permanent move, as of now – but talks will continue.”

While the Spaniard is viewed as a short-term solution before Boniface returns to fitness, his potential arrival could open the door for Arsenal to pounce and land one of the most exciting young strikers in world football.

Arsenal to sign Victor Boniface?

Victor Boniface, Bayer Leverkusen
© ProShots – Victor Boniface, Bayer Leverkusen

Although Iglesias doesn’t possess the same attributes as Boniface, the Betis forward may be given the chance to impress during the second-half of the season as Leverkusen push for a surprise Bundesliga title.

If the 31-year-old is able to replicate Boniface’s impact with regards to goals, assists and all-round play, then Leverkusen may be willing to sell the Nigerian in the summer.

That could allow Arsenal to finally sign the number nine they have been craving.

The Gunners are also interested in Toney and Alexander Isak, but Boniface may represent a slightly cheaper option with a similar level of potential.

The Leverkusen striker was recently described as “special” by Chelsea legend John Obi Mikel on his Obi One Podcast. The ex-Blues midfielder admitted: “He [Boniface] will become a complete striker in the next couple of years.

“He has the physique, he is quick, good on the ball, technically very good and it’s difficult to see strikers that are that big and strong and powerful and then good on the ball as well.

“His assists as well, not just scoring goals, is something that will make this kid special, really, really special. I can’t wait to see what his journey will be in the next couple of years.”

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