Arsenal have been linked with a move for Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish, but Gabriel Agbonlahor doubts that a transfer to Emirates Stadium would appeal to the 25-year-old even if the Gunners could afford him.
Questions are being asked of whether those in north London would be able to find the funds required to complete such a transfer.
Ever since the days of Arsene Wenger’s iconic reign, Arsenal have favoured a frugal approach to recruitment.
Big money has been splashed at times, with Nicolas Pepe costing a club-record £72 million ($99m) fee, but the Gunners have tended to steer clear of lavish signings.
They would need to break the bank in order to land Grealish, with the England international signing a new long-term contract at Villa prior to the 2020-21 campaign getting underway.
It has been suggested that a nine-figure sum will be required to free him from that deal, with few clubs able to dig that deep – particularly as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause financial uncertainty.
Agbonlahor is not convinced that Arsenal could afford to be rivalling the likes of Manchester neighbours United and City if a scramble for Grealish’s signature is sparked.
He also believes that the fall from grace endured by the Gunners in recent times would work against them in any bid to lure another talented midfielder onto their books.
“There are so many clubs out there that would love to have him,” former Villa striker Agbonlahor told talkSPORT of the club’s much-coveted captain.
“Have Arsenal even got the money if they wanted to get him?
“I think the way Arsenal are at the moment, where they are in the league, their last 10 years, for me they aren’t one of the top six teams in the league.
“Even if they did have the money, I don’t think he’d choose to go to Arsenal anyway. That’s a shame with Arsenal’s big history in football.”
Mikel Arteta has been urged to join the clamour for Grealish’s signature if an exit door does open up at Villa Park, with former Gunners star Gilberto Silva telling the Invisible Wall Show: “Grealish, amazing. It seems like he could be a player that Arsenal missed.
“With his ability, he was one of the guys in the middle who can play beautiful football. He controls the ball, assists and can score goals.
“He is slightly different from Dennis Bergkamp, but he could be somebody for the future at Arsenal.”