Mikel Arteta issues Arsenal transfer warning as Gunners eye Dusan Vlahovic deal

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal are trying to sign players before the January transfer window shuts, but they only want individuals who can take the team “to the next level”.

Arsenal have let four first-team players leave this month, sending Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Folarin Balogun and Pablo Mari out on loan. Defender Sead Kolasinac has also joined Marseille after his contract was mutually terminated with six months to go.

The Africa Cup of Nations and a fitness crisis has left Arsenal stretched, and for Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Burnley they had four players on the bench who had never played in the Premier League.

Arsenal want to bring in a new midfielder and striker before the transfer window shuts and are targeting Dusan Vlahovic, but they are struggling to get anyone in.

“The market is difficult, it’s complicated,” said Arteta.

“We knew that, but it’s a lot to manage and we have to make the right decisions with players that we believe are going to really help us and try to bring in ones that can take us to the next level.

“Players that come here have to be able to take us to the next level. We already have a level, and we want to see much better standards than we already have, and that is how we’re going to recruit.

“We are certainly trying, but I don’t know if we’re going to be able to do it. Let’s see, it’s not only our intention, but a lot of facts that are needed to happen.

“I think that’s the dream of every manager, to have them in the team on the first day, but it isn’t realistic and in this window as well, the history of this window, a lot of them happen right at the end.”

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