The season is barely over but Arsenal have already been active in the transfer market. The Gunners got the ball rolling by securing a move for America goalkeeper Matt Turner, expected to be valued at around £7million. The 27-year-old is set to replace outward-looking Bernd Leno as Aaron Ramsdale’s back-up.
The club have signed Mohamed Elneny for at least one more season with the option of a further year and are reportedly close to an agreement to also extend Eddie Nketiah’s contract. However, it seems like they are just getting started.
Last summer was the biggest in the club’s history in terms of spending, with the arrival of Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Martin Odegaard. Mikel Arteta announced earlier this month that he expects Edu to be busy again this time around.
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“We want to take the club to the next level,” said the Spaniard in his press conference before the last game of the season against Everton. “That’s the ambition. To achieve that, again we have a very clear plan on 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 to bridge the gap from a Europa League club to the top four regulars, they will need to improve their batting capabilities. Nketiah was their best Premier League centre-forward last season despite making just eight starts, as Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang only scored four goals each.
Along with a lack of firepower up front, sheer numbers mean the Gunners need to dive into the market this summer. Aubameyang has left the club, and football.london expects Lacazette to follow suit, meaning Nketiah and Folarin Balogun will be the club’s only orthodox centre-forwards at the start of next season. While Gabriel Martinelli has played up front before, there is a consensus that more is required given Arsenal’s return to Europe.
The main name intended to fill this gap is Gabriel Jesus. football.london understands Edu has been in talks with the 25-year-old’s agent about a potential move from Manchester City since November and given his versatility and high pressing ability, Arteta sees him as the ideal candidate to take over the number 9 shirt at the Emirates.
There is still work to be done, however, as reports suggest City want around £55m for the Brazilian, who has just one year left on his contract. For his part, Jesus has revealed that he will make his decision during his summer break. “My future is still uncertain. I have a contract with City and have already expressed my wish to the City people and my agent. I have a very clear mind of what I want,” he told ESPN Brazil, before going on to add “on vacation, I decide my future.” Anyway, the decision has been made, Arsenal won’t be able to finalize the deal for a while.
That’s because the summer transfer window for clubs from the Premier League, EFL and Scotland doesn’t officially open until Friday 10 June. From that point the Gunners can officially register all signings from English and Scottish sides, meaning a deal for Jesus or Leicester’s Youri Tielemans – who has also been linked as an option to bolster midfield options – is possible by that date to wait to be officially confirmed.
However, in France, Italy, Germany and Spain, the summer window does not open until July 1st. This means that if Edu is able to secure any deals for players from those leagues, he will have to wait to officially register the deal. One such example is Aaron Hickey from Bologna, who football.london understands is someone Arsenal are pursuing to bolster their options as a full-back.