Transfer Window Mini-Interview with Chris Wheatley

A first for the Arseache blog is an interview with Chris Wheatley! Chris, is the Arsenal correspondent for, having worked for previously.

Chris’ extensive knowledge of transfers has helped a lot of Arsenal fans navigate the various twists and turns that only silly season can bring.

What is happening with Martin Ødegaard? Have Real Madrid decided how they want to use him and Arsenal still interested in him?
Arsenal want to sign Ødegaard and talks are ongoing between Real Madrid and Arsenal. My personal view is that a deal can be done this summer, but it is one that could happen towards the end of the transfer window.

What exactly is Richard Garlick’s role at the club at the moment and how does it dovetail with Edu’s role as the Technical Director?
Garlick is the Head of Football Operations. His role is similar to Dick Law’s, who used to be the contract negotiator at Arsenal and was responsible for all contract negotiations and involved at the final stage of transfers.

He’s highly respected within the game and has a vast contacts book from his time at West Bromwich Albion and in his role as Premier League Director of Football.

What other targets are there in the creative midfield role besides Ødegaard?
Emiliano Buendía was a target earlier in the window before his move to Aston Villa and James Maddison has appeared as a potential option, although his price remains a sticking point.

Arsenal do have a longstanding interest in Lyon’s Houssem Aouar but it remains to be seen whether they come back in for him this summer.

Has anyone made a move for Willian and how likely is it that he will leave?
It’s likely that he will leave but not certain by any means. The MLS is an option for Willian but a source told me recently that ‘he’s not finished in Europe’.

One to look out for this summer.

Will Maty Ryan return? If so, what does that mean for Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson, will he be loaned out?
There is interest there but it looks like Arsenal are searching for homegrown options right now. Rúnarsson will probably be loaned out.

You mentioned in a tweet recently about Arsenal looking at the leadership team in the squad (Aubameyang, Lacazette, Bellerín et al), does this mean Arsenal will look at appointing a new captain or will they stick with Aubameyang
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the club captain and that is not expected to change for next season.

My prediction would be Kieran Tierney being part of the leadership team along with more experienced players like Pablo Marí and Mohamed Elneny.

It will be decided closer to the new season, though.

I’d like to thank Chris for his time and I’d also like to extend a personal thank you for everything else. Before starting this blog, Chris was one of the first people I reached out to for help and advice for starting my own blog and Chris, along with the wonderful Andrew over at Arseblog, were always available for help, guidance and general tips and for that I can’t thank them enough.

It also means a lot that he took the time out of his day to answer questions for a fan blog that barely has even 40 followers on Twitter, especially when he has such a busy day himself, so thanks Chris!

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