Football News

Espanyol chairman confirms he rejected an offer from Arsenal for star striker Raul de Tomas

By Ben Green

Published: 19:03, 31 January 2022

The chairman of Espanyol has confirmed Arsenal made an enquiry for Raul de Tomas but their advances were quickly pushed back.

Mikel Arteta is thought to be in the market for a striker this January with uncertainties over the futures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang — who has been frozen out due to disciplinary issues — Alexandre Lacazette — whose contract expires in the summer — and Eddie Nketiah, who appears un-fancied by the Spaniard.

Aubameyang looked set to leave north London on deadline day and was even spotted in Spain ahead of a potential move to Barcelona on loan, but talks reportedly broke down after issues with the Gabon international’s salary, leading to Peter Odemwingie comparisons, who famously drove to QPR and failed to secure a move.

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The Gunners have naturally been linked with a host of names, not least Dusan Vlahovic, who recently moved to Juventus for a fee just north of £60m, and Alexander Isak, who was spotted in London over the weekend, leading to heightened speculation that he was on the cusp of joining the club.

However, neither player pitched up at the Emirates. And another name that can now be dismissed is De Tomas who, according to Espanyol chairman Jose Maria Duran, was the subject of an enquiry by the London club, but the Catalan supremo was in no mood to entertain offers.

Duran told Sport3“Arsenal called for Raul de Tomas. It was a one-time call, but we hardly wanted to listen.

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“Our position is clear. We will not let Raul de Tomas go, especially not in the middle of the season.”

The 27-year-old has been electric for the Catalan club this campaign, netting 11 goals in just 20 La Liga games, which also culminated in the Madrid-born marksman being handed his international debut last year.

He featured twice for Spain in November’s World Cup Qualifiers, earning caps against Greece and Sweden as Luis Enrique’s La Roja topped Group B to book their ticket to Qatar 2022.