Arsenal shelled out £160m last summer and are expected to invest significantly in their playing squad again after narrowly missing out on Champions League qualification
Mikel Arteta faces another big summer ahead after making progress with his Arsenal side last season – only for it to finish with a tinge of regret.
Failure to qualify for the Champions League has dealt a slight setback to the Gunners’ boss’ hopes for a fruitful transfer window though there is expected to be plenty of business done at the Emirates.
A new striker is imperative for Arsenal having let Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang go in the summer, while Alexandre Lacazette could also leave, though Eddie Nketiah looks set to stay. Meanwhile reinforcements would be welcome down the spine of Arsenal’s team, while Arteta will need to work out which of his fringe men are staying or going – including William Saliba,
Here are the latest Arsenal transfer rumours and updates.
Merson sends Arteta warning
Arsenal legend Paul Merson has told Mikel Arteta to wise up in the transfer market and bolster his squad with some senior pros.
Arteta sanctioned more than £160million in transfers last summer in an overhaul to Arsenal’s squad as a number of talented youngsters came through the door, including Aaron Ramsdale and Ben White. Now Merson wants to see that youth dovetailed with experience with further additions before next season.
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“Elite managers just have that little bit more know-how,” he wrote for the Daily Star. “Conte got rid of players they had signed for a lot of money, and he brought in great players. Dejan Kulusevski. Wow. That’s why he’s an elite manager. And Arteta could be too one day – but he needs another good window right now to start with.
“The next few players Arsenal buy need to be experienced professionals in my opinion, ideally 28 or 29 years old. They need experience in the team. They have a lorryload of promising youngsters but they froze when it came to the crunch. They’ve got to get some experience in the team.
“Gabriel Jesus would be a good fit. He’s only 25 but he ticks the boxes because he scores goals, Arteta knows him, and he has experience of winning trophies with Manchester City. It’s alright having young players but the problem is one minute they are up high and the next minute they are down low.”
Gunners face Neves competition
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Arsenal will have to step up their pursuit of Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves if he is to make the switch to the Emirates ahead of next season.
The Portuguese star admitted at the end of the last campaign that his time at Molineux might well be up after attracting interest from Premier League clubs and beyond. Mikel Arteta is an admirer of the 25-year-old, but so too is Manchester United’s new boss Erik ten Hag, as well as Barcelona.
But according to The Sun, it is United who could provide the sternest competition to landing Neves’ signature, with Ten Hag reportedly already giving club chiefs the green light to make a bid for his services.
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Spurs lining up double blow
Arteta’s summer plans could be dealt an immediate obstacle by north London rivals Tottenham.
Spurs pipped the Gunners to fourth spot in the final matches of the season and now boast the lure of Champions League football heading into the summer transfer market. That could prove pivotal in negotiations, particularly when Antonio Conte is eyeing two targets on Arteta’s shortlist, per ESPN via Football London.
Middlesbrough’s Djed Spence has performed well on loan at Nottingham Forest this season and is now on both Spurs and Arsenal’s radar. So too is Leicester’s Youri Tielemans, who the Foxes are resigned to losing before his contract expires next year.
In Tielemans’ case, the Belgian has already made it clear that the prospect of playing in the Champions League would prove to be a big carrot for any clubs looking to sign him in the coming months.