A Busy Summer

A Busy Summer

Arsenal have a busy summer ahead. Not only do Arsenal need to add some very real quality to a team that finished last season in 5th, but they also need to trim some of the proverbial fat from the squad.

Many players will return from some successful and some from unsuccessful loan deals while Arsenal also begin to work on new contracts and fine-tuning a squad ahead of what is expected to be an immensely busy summer that will lead into a highly-important league campaign.

Failure to qualify for the UEFA Champions League will certainly have had an impact, however small or large, on the budget that Mikel Arteta and Edu will have to work with this summer, but ultimately, Arsenal still need to spend big if they are to qualify for Europe’s top competition this season.


Goalkeepers

NameFeePositionVerdict
🇩🇪 Bernd Leno£26mGKSold
🇮🇸 Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson£1.7mGKSold
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Aaron Ramsdale£24mGKStays
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Arthur OkonkwoN/AGKLoaned
🇪🇪 Karl Jakob HeinN/AGKStays
🇺🇸 Matt Turner£5mGKStays
Current Roster

Between the sticks is perhaps the only position that Arsenal do not need to fill. Aaron Ramsdale will likely take the number 1 jersey from Bernd Leno this summer once the German’s future is sorted.

Leno seems unlikely to remain at Arsenal beyond the summer, with Benfica eyeing up a potential move, thought to be around the £8.5m mark. The German shot-stopper has also reportedly said goodbyes to his teammates London Colney, indicating that a move is on the cards.

Bernd Leno will almost certainly leave this summer.

Elsewhere, it seems likely that Arthur Okonkwo will be loaned out, while Karl Jakob Hein will likely be the team’s third-choice GK. Matt Turner, summer signing from New England Revolution, will almost certainly be the team’s de-facto number 2.

Though there are no concrete rumours regarding Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson, OH Leuven, whom he spent last season on loan with, may well trigger the £2m purchase clause inserted into his contract. If he does not secure a move away, Arsenal may look to loan him out further.

Defence

NameFeePositionVerdict
🇪🇸 Héctor BellerínN/ARBSold
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Kieran Tierney£25mLBStays
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Benjamin White£50mCBStays
🇧🇷 Gabriel Magalhães£26mCBStays
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Rob Holding£2mCBStays
🇵🇹 Cédric SoaresFreeRBStays
🇯🇵 Takehiro Tomiyasu£16.75mRBStays
🇵🇹 Nuno Tavares£6.7mLBLoaned
🇪🇸 Pablo Marí£7.4mCBSold
🇫🇷 William Saliba£27mCBStays
🇺🇸 Auston Trusty£2mCBLoaned
Current Roster
NameFeePositionVerdict
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Aaron Hickey£20mLBLikely
🇦🇷 Manuel Molina£25mRBUnlikely
🇫🇷 Evan Ndicka£17mCBUnlikely
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Levi Colwill£20mCBUnlikely
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Djed Spence£12mRBUnlikely
Rumoured Signings

Defence is also fairly settled. The future of William Saliba has been clarified recently, both by the manager Mikel Arteta and by the player himself. It seems as though Saliba will likely be competing with Benjamin White for the starting position, but will likely be limited to appearances in the domestic cups and in the early stages of the UEFA Europa League, at least initially. Saliba’s decision to remain at Arsenal may also have been in part down to the fact that Marseille (whom he spent last season with) have recently been hit with a transfer ban, meaning they are unable to sign the defender. Despite this, Marseille are reportedly keen to take Saliba back on loan for the following season, while Italian side Napoli have also made enquiries to the defender’s availability.

Elsewhere, Héctor Bellerín’s future seems set. While a move to Real Betis is contingent on the Spanish side being able to raise appropriate funds, there have been some rumours that Bellerín would prefer his contract be torn up, however, Arsenal would not be keen on the idea, especially given that Bellerín still has a year remaining on his current deal. If a deal cannot be struck, then Bellerín will need to look at other offers from elsewhere.

William Saliba (right) will spend next season at Arsenal.

The futures of Pablo Marí and Auston Trusty seem assured. Marí will almost certainly depart the club this season, with Italian club Udinese, who had Marí on loan last season, thought to be deep in negotiations with Arsenal to try and secure a transfer. Trusty will likely be loaned out this summer, though the destination is as yet unknown.

Rumours have been rife that Arsenal may potentially sell centre-back Gabriel Magalhães to Juventus. The rumours have mainly stemmed from Italian media as Juventus look to bolster their own backline. Juventus are reportedly keen to include fringe players in the deal, including Arthur Melo, who Arsenal held a vested interest in in January. For Arsenal’s part, a deal seems very unlikely. Gabriel is not pushing for a move and the club have no need to sell a player who has no interest in moving and who currently has three years remaining on his contract. It would likely take a very large sum to tempt Arsenal into selling, with sources suggesting that it may cost teams in excess of £60m.

In terms of incomings, Arsenal’s signings will likely depend on the future of Nuno Tavares and Cédric Soares. The latter seems unlikely to move, so a move for a right-full-back seems unlikely, especially if Bellerín’s future is also unresolved. In terms of a left-back, Arsenal have been heavily linked with Scottish defender Aaron Hickey at Bologna. Arsenal are unlikely to further complicate matters at the back and may well look to loan out Nuno Tavares before making a move for another full-back to bolster the ranks.

Arsenal are also interested in a left-footed central defender. With Marí almost certainly leaving, Arsenal are somewhat limited in the position, with only Gabriel Magalhães being the nature fit in the squad. The club tried in vain to prize away FC Freiburg’s Nico Schlotterbeck in January, but the player moved to Borussia Dortmund instead. The club do have a long-standing interest in Frankfurt defender Evan Ndicka and may activate his reported £17m release clause if they have appropriate funds available. Levi Colwill of Chelsea is also of interest, though a deal is unlikely as Chelsea will be unwilling to strengthen a rival.

The club have also explored the potential signing of Middlesbrough fullback, Djed Spence. Spence spent last season on loan at Nottingham Forest, where he played a huge part in both knocking Arsenal out of the FA Cup in the third round and also in getting Nottingham Forest back into the Premier League. Spence is of interest to many clubs, with Tottenham also thought to be interested. Any deal for Spence would likely hinge on the future of Cédric Soares, however, so a deal looks unlikely unless the club are able to find a way to accommodate the player.

Midfield

NameFeePositionVerdict
🇬🇭 Thomas Partey£45.4mCMStays
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Ainsley Maitland-NilesN/ACMSold
🇧🇪 Albert Sambi Lokonga£20mCMStays
🇪🇬 Mohamed Elneny£7.4mCMStays
🇨🇭 Granit Xhaka£34.5mCMStays
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Charlie PatinoN/ACMLoaned
🇺🇾 Lucas Torreira£26mCMSold
Current Roster
NameFeePositionVerdict
🇧🇪 Youri Tielemans£25mCMLikely
🇵🇹 Rúben Neves£70mCMUnlikely
🇺🇦 Oleksandr Zinchenko£27mCMLikely
🇧🇷 Arthur Melo£40mCMUnlikely
🇫🇷 Houssem Aouar£12.5mCMUnlikely
Rumoured Signings

In midfield, things are becoming a bit more interesting. Ainsley Maitland-Niles looks almost certain to be sold, though a move back to Roma seems very unlikely, especially given that Roma boss José Mourinho already said no to signing the player permanently. If a permanent deal cannot be arranged, then he may well be loaned out again.

Despite Marseille’s aforementioned transfer ban, they are still able to sign Mattéo Guendouzi. Guendouzi spent last season on loan with the French club, who were obligated to buy the player if they managed to avoid relegation. Guendouzi’s departure has netted Arsenal roughly £10m, which is a £3m profit after they bought him from FC Lorient in 2018.

Mohamed Elneny will remain at the club next season. The former Basel midfielder recently signed a new one-year contract with the club, which means Arsenal are unlikely to fall too short on numbers in the middle of the park next season.

Youri Tielemans is the club’s main target in midfield this summer.

The future of Lucas Torreira seems certain, but it’s a matter of the destination. Torreira had a very good season on loan with Italian side Fiorentina, however, the Serie A side seem unwilling to meet his wage demands or to meet the £15m purchase clause in his loan deal, which has caused uproar among Fiorentina fans, which may pressure the club into signing Torreira permenantly, especially since finances should not present an issue after making nearly £70m on the sale of Dušan Vlahović to Juventus in January. Other Italian sides are reportedly interested, includings Napoli as are Spanish side Valencia.

Granit Xhaka, who looked certain to leave Arsenal last summer, seems unlikely to leave now. Though Roma had stated an interest in the player, with José Mourinho a known admirer, they look likely to complete a deal for Nemanja Matić, who has left Manchester United, meaning that Xhaka will likely be staying put at Arsenal.

Charlie Patino will likely be offered for loan, but not until the January window, giving him and fellow youngsters Omari Hutchinson and Salah-Eddine Oulad M’Hand ample time to play in the Europa League.

In terms of incomings, the club’s pursuit of Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans is well-known. The Belgian midfielder is entering the final year of his contract at the King Power Stadium and is reportedly keen on a move to north London. Arsenal hope to complete a deal for around the £25m mark, but it seems more likely that Leicester would demand slightly higher for a player with such a high-ceiling. Signing Tielemans would also allow Mikel Arteta to finally experiment with the 4-3-3 formation that he has wanted to play for so long.

Arsenal are known admirers of Wolves’ Rúben Neves. Though Neves seems interested in a move away, any deal for the midfielder would likely be contingent on Xhaka moving away. There is also the fact that Wolves would almost certainly demand in the region of £70m for the player, especially given his importance to Bruno Lage, a figure that would likely prove to be too high for Arsenal, unless they can raise appropriate funds; Manchester United are also interested and have a far more pressing need for the player than Arsenal.

Arthur Melo has also been a name that has seen links in recent weeks. Arthur was of interest to the club in the January window, when they attempted to bring him in on loan. Technical director Edu initially explored the idea of an 18-month loan deal with a £40m option to buy, but the Arsenal board shot this idea down. A move in the summer can’t be entirely ruled out, though seems unlikely, especially given the priority Arsenal will likely give to Tielemans.

Arthur Melo came close to joining Arsenal in January, but a summer move looks unlikely.

Recent reports have also linked Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko. Zinchenko is primarily a midfielder, but has mainly been deployed as a left-sided full-back under Pep Guardiola. West Ham are also interested in the Ukrainian international, however, Zinchenko is though to favour a move to Arsenal owing to his close personal relationship with Mikel Arteta and the fact that Arsenal are guaranteeing him minutes in midfield, where he operates for the national side. A bid doesn’t seem imminent, with the club keen to wrap up deals for fellow teammate Gabriel Jesus and for Tielemans first, but the club do have a vested interest in the player and Manchester City seem willing to negotiate a move should a suitable offer present itself.

No summer is ever complete without the obligatory links to Lyon’s Houssem Aouar. Arsenal famously came very close to pinching the Frenchman from Lyon back in 2020, however, the move fell apart over quibbles with Lyon director Jean-Michel Aulas, who wanted around £60m for the midfielder, which Arsenal considered to be excessive. It’s fair to say that Aouar’s stock his fallen considerably since that fateful summer and now, with only a year remaining on his contract, he is now available at the bargain price of £12.5m. This too seems an unlikely deal for Arsenal to strike. Aouar is too similar to Tielemans and Martin Ødegaard and is considerably less reliable than either player. The club may potentially seek a deal in six months time, when Aouar is free to negotiate with other clubs, but he may already have moved by then, with Aston Villa reportedly keeping tabs on him.

Forwards

NameFeePositionVerdict
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Bukayo SakaN/ARWStays
🇳🇴 Martin Ødegaard£29mCAMStays
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Emile Smith RoweN/ACAM/LWStays
🇧🇷 Gabriel Martinelli£6mLWStays
🇨🇮 Nicolas Pépé£72mRWSold
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Reiss NelsonN/ARWSold
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Folarian BalogunN/ASTLoaned
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Eddie NketiahN/ASTStays
🇧🇷 Marquinhos£3mRWLoaned
Current Roster
NameFeePositionVerdict
🇧🇷 Gabriel Jesus£40mSTLikely
🇮🇹 Gianluca Scamacca£50mSTUnlikely
🇦🇷 Lautaro Martínez£70mSTUnlikely
🇳🇱 Cody Gakpo£25mRWUnlikely
🇩🇪 Serge Gnabry£40mLWUnlikely
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Tammy Abraham£75mSTUnlikely
🇳🇬 Victor Osimhen£80mSTUnlikely
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Dominic Calvert-Lewin£60mSTUnlikely
🇸🇪 Alexander Isak£60mSTUnlikely
🇨🇦 Jonathan David£45mSTUnlikely
🇺🇾 Darwin Núñez£68mSTUnlikely
Rumoured Signings

In terms of the forward-line, the lines become more blurred between what is likely and what is not.

In terms of outgoings, things are fairly straight-forward.

Alexandre Lacazette has already announced his departure from the club and will likely be joining former club Lyon on a free transfer at the beginning of June.

Eddie Nkietiah’s future looks resolved as the player is set to sign a new and improved five-year contract with the club, following his spell of good form towards the end of last season. The club will also look to extend Bukayo Saka’s contract too, amidst interest from Liverpool.

Gabriel Martinelli will be handed the number 11 shirt at the club for the new season, with the club also prepping a new contract offer for him to ponder over too, while Nicolas Pépé will almost certainly leave, with Paris Saint-Germain rumoured to have in interest in the Ivorian following Ángel Di María’s departure, as are Sevilla.

Arsenal currently lead the race for Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus.

Reiss Nelson’s future seems a tad more complicated. Though Nelson began to impress towards the end of his loan with Eredivisie side Feyenoord, a move back to Holland seems unlikely. If Arsenal are unable to secure a move for Nelson, which they seem keen to do, then Nelson would likely remain at Arsenal at least until January unless another loan deal can be arranged before then.

A deal for Brazilian forward Marquinhos is expected to be completed shortly. Some legal issues surrounding the São Paulo forward’s move amidst legal action from Wolves and interest from an unnamed Dutch club has slowed the process down, but sources are hopeful that a move will be completed shortly.

As for other incomings, this is where things get rather more tricky.

Arsenal were initially in the market for two strikers this summer, however, Nketiah’s new contract means that Arsenal will likely target only one, unless an exceptional opportunity presents itself elsewhere.

It isn’t exactly an industry secret that Arsenal want to sign a striker. After their failure to capture the signature of Dušan Vlahović in January, the club have stepped pursuits of several players in recent months.

For now, the most likely name on the list is Manchester City forward, Gabriel Jesus. Jesus, like Youri Tielemans, only has a year remaining on his contract and has a host of suitors. Manchester City’s captures of Julián Álvarez and Erling Haaland means that Jesus falls very far down the pecking order at City and the Brazilian is keen to seek a fresh challenge elsewhere. The price could be an issue for interested parties, however, with City reportedly holding out for as much as £45m-£50m, neither of which seem to represent value in the market for buyers, especially given that Jesus only has a year remaining on his deal. Tottenham do also have an interest in Jesus and have begun talks with Manchester City, but Arsenal are the current favourites to sign the player, with his relationship with technical director, Edu and Mikel Arteta thought to be key.

Jesus seems the most likely transfer this summer, however, moves for other strikers have also been mooted.

A move for Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry seems highly unlikely.

Recent rumours suggest that a deal is close to being struck for Sassuolo striker Gianluca Scamacca, however, the player seems more likely to remain in Italy than move abroad. Most rumours regarding this transfer seem to be mainly driven from Italy rather than from England. It is well-known that Jesus is Arsenal’s main focus for now and the club are unlikely to make a move for another player unless they are fully aware of what Jesus’ future looks like.

The club have reportedly had a bid of £65m turned down by Napoli for striker Victor Osimhen, which has also forced the club to look elsewhere. The prospect of dealing with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is not one that entices Arsenal, nor is the prospect of having to come close to meeting the £73m that Napoli paid for him initially.

The club are known to have interest in Lautaro Martínez, Tammy Abraham and Jonathan David, though these moves seem somewhat unlikely. Martínez has recently signed a new four-year deal with Inter Milan; Abraham has a buy-back clause of £70m in his contract for Chelsea and Roma are likely to demand at least that amount in order to sell him to anyone else; and though David is admired, no bid has been lodged.

Alexander Isak is the most immediately attainable owing to a release clause in his contract, but Arsenal have cooled their interest in him and in Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The latter striker seems less likely owing to an injury-hampered season and a less than stellar campaign in an admittedly under-performing Everton side.

The club did also hold an interest in talented 19-year-old forward Adam Hložek at Sparta Prague, however, the Czech forward moved to Bayer Leverkusen, which makes a move impossible.

Recent rumours have linked Arsenal with former-player Serge Gnabry. Bayern Munich seem unwilling to meet the forward’s demands of £250,000-a-week + and Arsenal would likely be even less keen to strike a deal at such a price. Arsenal do have an admiration for Gnabry of course, however, given the way that the player left the club back in 2016 and the aforementioned wage demands, it seems a deal is unlikely and is more wishful thinking on the part of fans, rather than a rational deal that could happen.

Similarly, a deal for Benfica forward Darwin Núñez, is likely to be too expensive for Arsenal to consider. The optics of the transfer are not ideal and they face immensely heavy competition from the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United for his sgnature.

Arsenal’s interest in Cody Gakpo is also well-known. A deal is affordable to the club, with Gakpo reportedly available for around £25m, with PSV Eindhoven technical director, John de Jong, announcing that Gakpo’s future would be resolved by the beginning of August. A move for Gakpo would be welcome as Arsenal look to bolster their options for a wide-forward, however, a move would likely be contingent on the futures of Nelson and Pépé.

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