Arsenal are reportedly looking to make six signings this summer and are targeting a named quintet valued at £126million.
Mikel Arteta has spoken of a “clear plan” when it comes to transfer dealings this summer, but they’ve already missed out on one of their top targets, as Aston Villa beat them to the signing of Emi Buendia from Norwich.
Villa paid £30million to secure the service sof the playmaker, with sources telling The Athletic that Arsenal’s negotiation was ‘tepid’.
But Arteta, Edu and Arsenal are thought to have many irons in the fire this summer and are exploring a number of options in different positions.
In central midfield, for example, they’ve been linked with a £35million move for Ruben Neves, but are also tracking the progress of Anderlecht’s Albert Sambi Lokonga.
The 21-year-old has made 50 Jupiler League appearances in the last two seasons, earned a first call-up to the Belgium senior squad in March and is on their standby list for Euro 2020.
He could be available for as little as £13million this summer.
Reinforcements will be needed in that area, with Matteo Guendouzi nearing a move to Marseille, Xhaka the subject of interst from Jose Mourinho at Roma and Newcastle very keen to keep Joe Willock after an impressive loan spell.
Arteta is also thought to be targeting a new striker, with Odsonne Edouard linked, as well as Sweden forward Alexander Isak.
The Real Sociedad forward has a £60million release but the situation is complicated by Borussia Dortmund – who sold him to the La Liga side in 2019 – retaining a €30 million buyback clause.
But Real hope to pay a fee to get that clause scrapped, to make him a feasible target for higher bids from elsewhere.
The Athletic also claim Arsenal are pursuing options in both full-back positions – a starter at right-back and cover for injury-prone Kieran Tierney at left-back.
At right-back they are said to be interested in RB Leipzig’s 22-year-old Tyler Adams.
The USA international can also play in central midfield, making him an attractive versatile option for Arteta.
But Leipzig may be reluctant to allow £18m-rated Adams to leave, given the departures of centre-backs Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate.
As well as a central midfielder, two full-backs and a striker, Edu has also reportedly been tasked with looking at goalkeeping options as well as a new centre-back. He’s a busy boy.
Euro 2020 is finally here – and what better way to celebrate than with a preview show to mark the launch of our new multi-sport website Planet Sport?