Arsenal left frustrated as prime transfer target’s knockdown fee comes to light

Dominic Szoboszlai has labelled his move to RB Leipzig “perfect” after struggling Arsenal missed out on the Hungary international midfielder.

Szoboszlai, 20, completed his switch from Austrian side Salzburg to their German bigger brother on Thursday.

RBL have paid an initial £18million to sign Szoboszlai – less than the £23million release clause quoted to the likes of Arsenal, AC Milan and Real Madrid.

The Gunners had been monitoring the Hungarian’s progress, having been impressed by last year’s Austrian Bundesliga Player of the Season.

Mikel Arteta and Arsenal sporting director Edu had both earmarked Szoboszlai as a potential alternative to Houssem Aouar for a transfer in 2021.

The pair are seeking to add greater creativity and goalscoring prowess to their midfield, with Arteta's men struggling to find the net so far this season.

Mirror Football understands that they had explored ways of financing a January deal, keen to break up the release clause within his contract in Austria, which ran until 2022.

The Arsenal hierarchy had previously hoped to prise Szoboszlai from the Red Bull Arena by meeting his release clause in three yearly instalments, rather than as an up-front sum.

They subsequently failed to make a move after learning that they wouldn't be able to do so and have now seen Szoboszlai put pen-to-paper on a long-term deal until 2025 with RBL.

There will no doubt now be frustration at an already unhappy Emirates that Szoboszlai's switch from Austria to Germany has gone ahead with almost 20 percent knocked off his price tag.

Szoboszlai declared: “I am very happy that the move to RB Leipzig worked out.

"The club has made great progress, is one of the best teams in the Bundesliga and is also causing a sensation in the Champions League.

"The move to Leipzig is perfect for my development, because I come to a top coach and an incredibly ambitious team that is very young, but has already gained a lot of experience and was able to celebrate some successes.

"I will be able to develop myself further here and of course I would like to help ensure that the club remains so successful in 2021."

Salzburg will also be due 20 percent of any future transfer, for a player whom they have nurtured since joining in January 2018, scoring 25 goals in 79 appearances for the club.

Szoboszlai adds his name to a growing list of players who have made the move between the two clubs in recent years, following the likes of Peter Gulacsi, Dayot Upamecano, Naby Keita – now with Liverpool – Konrad Laimer, Amadou Haidara and Hee-chan Hwang

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