Arsenal line up targets in three positions as Mikel Arteta given funds for big transfer plan

Arsenal line up targets in three positions as Mikel Arteta given funds for big transfer plan

Arsenal are ready to back Mikel Arteta in the transfer market as they bid to go one better in the title race next season.

Co-chair Josh Kroenke yesterday vowed “no one at the club will stand still” and Arsenal are already plotting how to overhaul four-time champions Manchester City next season.

The Gunners are ready to spend again this summer and are targeting a new defender, midfielder and striker.

A forward is a key priority and Arsenal are interested in RB Leipzig’s Benjamin Sesko. Reports in Germany claim Sesko, who scored 14 Bundesliga goals this season, has a release clause which has increased to £55million and expires at the end of June.

Arsenal scored a club-record 91 Premier League goals this season, but adding to their attack is seen as key to ending their 20-year wait for the title.

At 6ft 4ins, Sesko would offer Arsenal a different profile of forward and his form for Leipzig has impressed scouts. But they face competition for the 20-year-old Slovenia international from Chelsea, Manchester United and other clubs around Europe.

Leipzig hope they can persuade Sesko to stay in Germany for at least one more season and are said to be ready to offer him a new contract.

Wolves winger Pedro Neto has long been admired by Arsenal, while the Gunners are one of several sides interested in Athletic Club forward Nico Williams. Williams is thought to have a release clause of around £43m, but his wages could prove a stumbling block to any potential deal.

Arsenal also like Alexander Isak, but Newcastle are adamant the Swede is not for sale.

The Gunners also want a new midfielder to play alongside Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard. Amadou Onana, Bruno Guimaraes and Martin Zubimendi are among the players who have been watched this season.

A new defender is also desired, ideally one who can play on the left side. Ajax’s Jorrel Hato is on Arsenal’s radar. Still only 18, he has already captained Ajax and is considered one of the brightest talents in Europe.

Arsenal are also likely to need to sign a new goalkeeper, given Aaron Ramsdale is expected to leave in search for a No1 spot after losing his place to David Raya. Newcastle are the frontrunners to sign Ramsdale, who knows Eddie Howe from his time at Bournemouth, but he is expected to receive interest from other Premier League clubs.

Arsenal are set to make Raya’s loan move from Brentford permanent, which will set them back around £27m.

The Gunners will hope to sell players this summer to boost their transfer kitty, although their finances will be bolstered by reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League this season.

Eddie Nketiah, Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson all face uncertain futures. Albert Sambi Lokonga, Kieran Tierney and Nuno Tavares could leave permanently after spending this season out on loan.

Thomas Partey only has one year left on his contract and is wanted by clubs in Saudi Arabia.

Arsenal could have their resolve tested over Jakub Kiwior, while Cedric Soares and Mohamed Elneny will leave on frees.