CSKA Moscow’s failure to qualify for the Champions League next season is likely to bring to an end Seydou Doumbia’s tenure at the club and Arsenal and Chelsea lead the queue to secure his signature.
Doumbia ended the campaign as the top scorer in the Russian top flight and scored 38 goals in all competitions for CSKA.
This has unsurprisingly led to interest from abroad, with Chelsea identifying the Ivory Coast striker as the ideal replacement for fellow countryman Didier Drogba, who is leaving Stamford Bridge on a free transfer.
However, Arsenal have also entered the race as they seek to boost their forward line and according to the Daily Mail their interest is growing based on the knowledge that they could sign him for lower than the predicted price.
Doumbia has been typically valued in the region of £26m, but the Russians are rumoured to be willing to accept an initial outlay of £15m, which would then rise to nearer to £20m with additions to the contract.
Both clubs may need to be prompt if they want to have the best chance of signing Doumbia, given that there is also Premier League interest from Manchester City, while clubs in La Liga and Serie A are not out of the equation.
Doumbia told Corriere dello Sport: “I’m not closing the door on any team. I could be interested if the project they’re working on convinces me. I am ready for the Italian championship, but also for Spain or England. I want to make the next step in my career.
“I want to play in the Champions League. But it doesn’t make sense to join a club that plays in the Champions League one year, and then doesn’t even play in Europe the next season.”