Arsenal transfer news: Mikel Arteta sets out summer plan in plea for club to ‘nail’ recruitment
Mikel Arteta has warned Arsenal “are going to have to nail their recruitment” this summer, as they bid to become consistent title challengers.
The club is ready to invest heavily to make quality additions for next season and will target players who they feel can help them compete in the Champions League.
West Ham captain Declan Rice is their top target, with two midfielders, a centre-back and possibly another forward their main priorities.
The Gunners retain an interest in Moises Caicedo after failing with two bids for the Brighton midfielder in January and they are keeping tabs on Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi.
They also have an interest in Mason Mount, who will have one year left on his Chelsea contract this summer, but Liverpool are viewed as the favourites to sign the midfielder.
Arsenal have pushed Manchester City in the title race this season and can regain top spot in the Premier League by beating Chelsea at Emirates Stadium tonight.
Arteta and owners the Kroenkes want to compete for major trophies consistently, and the Arsenal manager has stressed the importance of their transfer business this summer as the club prepares to return to the Champions League for the first time in six years.
“We are really lucky because when you open the doors of Arsenal and you talk about Arsenal to any player, they want to come,” said Arteta. “My experience has been that, regardless of Champions League [football].
“Champions League helps, because every player wants to be involved in that competition and it’s going to help us, because we are going to have to nail the recruitment, because we know that we are going to have play a different level and the demands are going to be even higher.”
Arsenal are set to earn a minimum of an extra £50million from being in the Champions League next season and their transfer budget could be boosted by player sales if they decide to cash in on players such as forward Folarin Balogun and left-back Kieran Tierney.
Balogun is wanted by clubs across Europe after scoring 18 goals in Ligue 1 on loan at Reims this season.
Tierney has lost his place in the team to Oleksandr Zinchenko and is a target for Newcastle. Midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga and left-back Nuno Tavares, who have both been out on loan this season, also have uncertain futures.
Manchester City are in pole position to win the Premier League after their 4-1 victory over Arsenal last week, but Arteta is refusing to give up on the title. Pep Guardiola’s men are one point clear at the top after beating Fulham 2-1 on Sunday and they have a game in hand.
Arsenal are without a win in four matches, but Arteta hopes his team can play with more freedom in the final five games now the title is no longer in their hands.
After tonight’s fixture, the Gunners are at Newcastle on Sunday. They finish the season at home to Brighton, away at Nottingham Forest and then at home to Wolves on the final day.
“I don’t know, I am not a player,” Arteta said. “But if they were a little bit constrained then this is going to liberate them, then very good. Let’s do that [tonight] and let’s show that on the pitch.”
Arsenal remain without centre-back William Saliba tonight. The Frenchman is still out with a back injury and faces a fight to play again this season.
Rob Holding is set to continue at centre-back alongside Gabriel, while Jorginho could come into the Arsenal midfield against his former club.