Mikel Arteta is preparing a substantial rebuild of his squad next season with up to nine Arsenal players ‘in the shop window’ as the club look to raise funds for new additions.
Arsenal‘s transfer plans were handed a major boost following the north London side’s FA Cup final victory over Chelsea last weekend, the Gunners winning the trophy for a record-extending 14th time and securing their place in next season’s Europa League as a result.
Despite securing qualification for continental competition, finances are still expected to be restricted at the Emirates and Arteta must sell if he is to raise significant funds, with the Mail reporting the club are willing to listen to offers for as many as nine players.
Amongst the notable names who could leave include both Hector Bellerin and Alexandre Lacazette, though each will only be allowed to depart should the Gunners receive a ‘sizeable offer’ for either player.
Several other names who could be heading to the exit door include the out-of-favour Sokratis and Matteo Guendouzi, whilst Arteta will also listen to offers for Lucas Torreira, Sead Kolasinac, Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who spent last season on-loan at Roma and is keen on a permanent switch to the Italian capital, is also expected to leave, but doubts remain over whether the exiled Mesut Ozil will depart with the player’s agent revealing the playmaker’s intention to see out the final year of his club-record £350,000-a-week contract.
Arsenal finished the Premier League season in eighth – their lowest finish for 25 years – and Arteta is now firmly aware of the task facing him at north London, the Spaniard keen to put his own stamp on the Gunners’ squad following his mid-season arrival as head coach.
Amongst his reported targets include Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, whilst the club have also been linked with a move to bring former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho back to the Premier League from Barcelona and Chelsea free agent Willian.
Arteta is also believed to be keen to strengthen his options in central defence despite the return of highly-rated youngster William Saliba from his loan spell at Saint-Etienne, whilst there is interest in extending Dani Ceballos’ loan from Real Madrid into a second season following the midfielder’s upturn in form.
The future of club captain and leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also of paramount importance ahead of next season, the 28-goal forward having entered the final year of his contract at the Emirates and yet to agree a new deal.
Aubameyang scored both goals during the club’s 2-1 FA Cup final victory over Chelsea last weekend and the club are desperate to hold onto the Gabon international, though his sale will be considered if a new contract cannot be agreed with Arsenal fearful of losing the player for nothing next summer.