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Latest on the Gunners’ transfer situation: William Saliba contract delay, Declan Rice bid, Fresneda boost

Latest on the Gunners’ transfer situation: William Saliba contract delay, Declan Rice bid, Fresneda boost

After achieving success in the 2022/23 season, Mikel Arteta now confronts the challenge of a difficult follow-up. The surprising performance of Arsenal during the previous season caught many off guard, as they exceeded expectations by contending with Manchester City for the title instead of merely securing a top-four finish.

However, the upcoming season presents Arteta with considerable pressure and high expectations.

In addition to the anticipation of challenging for the Premier League title once more, Arteta desires his team to be prepared for competing in the Champions League. Nonetheless, he has openly acknowledged that Arsenal is not yet equipped to handle the demands of Europe’s elite competition.


“At the level we want, no,” he told football.london last month when asked if the Gunners were ready to compete on two fronts. “We didn’t have the capacity to do that as well with the Europa League so it’s part of that evolution.

“We have made a lot of good steps and strong steps in that journey and we have to continue. That never ends. We want to be better and the rest will be better, then the margins will be higher and we have to start to live with those standards and improve and be smarter.”

According to Mikel Arteta himself, this summer will be of utmost importance for Arsenal. As they enter stage four of their long-term project, any missteps at this critical juncture could prove costly.

One of the crucial aspects of progressing to the next phase is recruitment. Arsenal has displayed impressive proficiency in this area in recent transfer windows. Under the guidance of Edu, the club has transformed from reckless spenders with limited resources to astute deal-makers who have successfully reduced the squad’s size, average age, and wage bill. This strategic approach has contributed to the restructuring and improvement of the team.

Arsenal currently finds themselves in a favorable position to retain their existing talented players. They have already achieved success with signings such as Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel, Aaron Ramsdale, and Bukayo Saka. The club is now aiming to secure deals for Martin Odegaard and Ben White, with hopes that these negotiations will be fruitful.

However, there is some uncertainty surrounding William Saliba’s future. The young Frenchman has one year left on his contract and has shown tremendous potential in his debut season.

While Arsenal would like to extend his contract, this particular negotiation is expected to be more complex compared to others. The process is still ongoing, and nothing has been finalized yet, but Mikel Arteta has expressed confidence, stating that it’s just a matter of timing before an agreement is reached.

Arsenal’s pursuit of a center-back this summer remains a priority due to ongoing concerns. Takehiro Tomiyasu’s recovery timeline is uncertain, and Rob Holding struggled to meet expectations when called upon towards the end of the previous season. The club has been assessing options such as Marc Guehi and Edmond Tapsoba to address this position.

However, there is also a possibility that Arsenal may opt to reinforce their full-back position instead. This decision could be driven by the versatility of their current back four, as players like Ben White, Jakub Kiwior, and Tomiyasu are capable of playing both at center-back and full-back.

Additionally, there have been reports of Kieran Tierney attracting interest from Newcastle and appearing to have fallen out of favor with Arteta. Therefore, there may be a need to secure a backup option for Oleksandr Zinchenko at left-back.

Arsenal had initial discussions with the representatives of Ivan Fresneda in January, but with the intention of a potential summer transfer. The club may consider revisiting the possibility, taking advantage of the fact that Real Valladolid has been relegated from La Liga, which could lead to a more affordable deal.

The 19-year-old has showcased his versatility by playing both as a center-back and on the left, making him an attractive prospect. However, Arsenal might face competition from Borussia Dortmund and other interested teams in securing his services.

Sacha Boey from Galatasaray is another option for Arsenal. The player recently changed agents in order to facilitate a summer move, suggesting his openness to a transfer. Joao Cancelo of Manchester City has also been linked to Arsenal, but prying him away from Pep Guardiola’s side is likely to require a substantial financial investment.

Arsenal’s main focus for strengthening this summer lies in the midfield position. It is anticipated that Granit Xhaka will be moving to Bayer Leverkusen in a £13 million deal.

To fill the void, Arsenal has set their sights on Declan Rice as a potential replacement. Out of respect, Arsenal is waiting until after West Ham’s Europa League Conference final to submit a bid for Rice. Despite facing competition from Bayern Munich and Manchester United, the Gunners are confident in their ability to secure the deal.

There have been reports of interest in Thomas Partey from Italian clubs, which could potentially lead to his departure. In such a scenario, Arsenal would prioritize signing another midfielder. Moises Caicedo continues to be a target, although Brighton’s reluctance to sell him in January and his subsequent signing of a new contract have given the Seagulls a stronger negotiating position.

Additionally, other clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool, and Real Madrid have also expressed interest in Caicedo, making the pursuit more challenging for Arsenal.

Mason Mount’s potential move to Manchester United has been of interest, but it may raise questions regarding the future of Emile Smith Rowe at Arsenal.

Despite being sidelined for five months due to injury last season, Smith Rowe struggled to regain a regular starting position even after recovering from surgery and being free from hip pain. However, Arsenal is determined to retain Smith Rowe, as he still has three years left on his contract.

Similarly, the club intends to keep Reiss Nelson and is reportedly close to securing his signature on a new contract. Nelson, who played a significant role in Arsenal’s matches against Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest last season, is valued by the club.

However, Mikel Arteta has expressed a desire for additional attacking firepower, indicating that Arsenal is looking to bolster their attacking options further.

Arsenal has reportedly made plans to terminate the contract of Nicolas Pepe if they are unable to secure a transfer fee for him during the summer.

This indicates that the club is actively seeking external options to enhance their attacking threat, despite having promising players like Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Leandro Trossard, Eddie Nketiah, and Gabriel Martinelli in their current frontline.

On the other hand, Folarin Balogun could potentially seek a permanent exit from Arsenal to build on his successful loan season with Stade de Reims. It seems the club is open to allowing him to move on if it aligns with his development and career aspirations.

Latest on the Gunners’ transfer situation: William Saliba contract delay, Declan Rice bid, Fresneda boost

Latest on the Gunners’ transfer situation: William Saliba contract delay, Declan Rice bid, Fresneda boost

Latest on the Gunners’ transfer situation: William Saliba contract delay, Declan Rice bid, Fresneda boost