Arsenal lead transfer chase for Bournemouth whizkid Ajani Burchall after 16-year-old rejects Cherries scholarship deal

ARSENAL are keen on Bournemouth’s whizkid contract rebel Ajani Burchall.

Burchall, 16, became the Cherries’ third-youngest-ever player when making his debut as a late sub in December’s 5-0 win over Huddersfield.

But he has snubbed a scholarship deal at the Championship club.

Burchall is now set to leave in the summer amid interest from several Premier League clubs.

The Gunners head the queue for the Bermudan winger, who is still at school.

Meanwhile, Arsenal will launch major cost-cutting plans this summer – despite slashing their wage bill by almost £700,000 a week in January.

The Gunners could listen to offers for Alexandre Lacazette and release David Luiz in a monster overhaul.

With no prospect of admitting fans this season and a £120million short-term loan to repay to the Bank of England, the club are feeling the pinch like never before.

And the threat of missing out on European qualification for the first time since 1995 is looming over the Emirates like a dark cloud.

Mesut Ozil, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos all had their mega-money contracts terminated in January, With Sead Kolasinac, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock also loaned.


In total, the club will save £16.5m on wages – but it may not be enough.

Lacazette is rapidly approaching the final year of his £150,000-a-week contract and no decision has yet been made as to whether to extend that deal.

The £52million French striker remains a key part of Arteta’s squad but the club are in no mood to give him a pay rise and could sell him this summer, rather than risk him going for free next year.

Veteran defender Luiz, 33, earns about £120,000 a week and is out of contract this summer – when he will likely be released.

Midfielders Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira – on loan with Hertha Berlin and Atletico Madrid – will be sold in the summer for around £25million each.

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