Arsenal's next two transfers 'decided' amid £42m deal as Mikel Arteta plan takes shape

Dani Olmo of Spain celebrates scoring his team's fourth goal with teammates Mikel Merino and Nico Williams during the UEFA EURO 2024 round of 16 match between Spain and Georgia at Cologne Stadium on June 30, 2024 in Cologne, Germany.
-Credit: (Image: (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images))

Arsenal finally look to be making big moves in the summer transfer window following their Riccardo Calafiori decision and the permanent signing of David Raya.

Following a quiet first few weeks of the trading period, the Gunners began to be strongly linked with some players starring at Euro 2024, with Calafiori the main name. Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United had all shown interest, but Arsenal worked quickly to agree personal terms before contacting Bologna to begin negotiations.

Those talks have progressed well over the last week, with a fee in the region of £42million likely to be enough to sign the 22-year-old. Arsenal fly out to the United States later this month for a pre-season tour, and it has been claimed that Arteta and Co. are hopeful that Calafiori is on the plane.

If the Gunners can wrap up a deal for the Italy international, attention will swiftly turn to other targets with understanding a summer priority for Arteta is to sign a new midfielder. The expected departure of Thomas Partey means signing a replacement will be crucial, with a previously mentioned name now appearing to be high up on Arteta's short list.

The Gunners boss is said to be a big fan of Real Sociedad star Mikel Merino, as per the Athletic, and is particularly fond of his talent and physicality. Fresh off scoring the winner in Spain's Euro 2024 quarter-final triumph over Germany, Merino sees his contract in Spain expire in 2025, which could help Arsenal secure a bargain deal.

Strengthening in attack also appears to be an aim for Arsenal, with focus switching to options out wide after Benjamin Sesko turned down a move to Emirates Stadium. A plethora of names have been linked, including Pedro Neto, Raphinha, and Johan Bakayoko; however, it appears to be a different name that is the priority.

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According to the Athletic, if Arsenal choose to sign a winger this summer, Athletic Club starlet Nico Williams is Arteta's favoured addition. Given the rumoured release clause in his contract, Williams could cost Arsenal in the region of £50million, though the player does not appear keen on leaving Spain.

“I have already said that Bilbao is my home," he told RadiogacetaRNE, as quoted by Fabrizio Romano. "I just renewed recently, and I’m very very happy here." Williams was due to see his contract expire last month however, he recently penned an extension until 2027, which makes an Arsenal transfer somewhat unlikely.