The season is barely over but Arsenal have already been busy in the transfer market. The Gunners have got the ball rolling by securing a move for American goalkeeper Matt Turner understood to be worth around £ 7million, with the 27-year-old in line to replace the outward-bound Bernd Leno as Aaron Ramsdale’s back up.
The club have signed up Mohamed Elneny for at least one more season, with the option to extend by a further year, and are reportedly nearing a deal to extend Eddie Nketiah’s contract too. However, it seems as though they are just just getting started.
Last summer was the biggest in the club’s history in terms of outlay as Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Martin Odegaard all came in. Mikel Arteta revealed earlier this month that he is expecting Edu to be busy again this time around.
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“We want to take the club to the next level,” the Spaniard said in his press conference ahead of the season’s final game against Everton. “That’s the ambition. In order to do that we have a very clear plan again, how we want to do it and execute it, and there are no secrets. We need resources and we need to increase the quality and depth of the squad . ”
It seems clear that if Arsenal are going to bridge the gap from a Europa League outfit to top four regulars, then they will need to improve their striking options. Nketiah was their top scoring center forward in the Premier League last season despite making only eight starts as Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang managed just four goals each.
As well as a lack of firepower up top, sheer numbers mean that the Gunners will have to dip into the market this summer. Aubameyang has left the club, and football.london understands that Lacazette will follow suit, meaning that Nketiah and Folarin Balogun would be the only orthodox center forwards at the club come the start of next season. While Gabriel Martinelli has played up front before, there is an understanding that more is needed given Arsenal’s return to Europe.
The main name being linked to fill this void is Gabriel Jesus. football.london understands that Edu has been in talks with the 25-year-old’s agent since November over a potential move from Manchester City, and given his versatility and high pressing capabilities, Arteta views him as the ideal candidate to take up the number nine shirt at the Emirates.
There is still work to be done on the deal though, with reports suggesting that City want in the region of £ 55million for the Brazilian who has just one year left on his contract. For his part Jesus has revealed he will make his decision during his summer break. “About my future, it’s still uncertain. I have a contract with City and I have already expressed my desire to the City people and to my agent. I have in my head very clear what I want,” he told ESPN Brazil before going on to add “on vacation, I decide about my future.” Whatever, decision is made though, Arsenal will still not be able to complete the deal for a little while yet.
That’s because the summer transfer window does not officially open until Friday, June 10 for Premier League, EFL and Scottish clubs. From that point on the Gunners will be able to officially register any signings they make from English and Scottish teams, meaning that a deal for Jesus or Leicester’s Youri Tielemans – who has also been linked as an option to bolster the options in midfield – will have to wait until that date to be officially confirmed.
In France, Italy, Germany and Spain though the summer window does not open until July 1. This means that if Edu is able to secure any deals for any players from these leagues then he will have to wait to officially register the deal. One such example is Bologna’s Aaron Hickey who football.london understands is someone that Arsenal are tracking to bolster their options at full back.