If Mikel Arteta is going to turn things around next season, his summer recruitment will be crucial.
While Arsenal aren’t going to solve all their problems in the transfer market – after their Europa League exit to Villarreal, Arteta also needs to think long and hard about his tactics, style of play and game management – there’s little doubt that the squad needs an overhaul.
Arteta admitted earlier this week that some players could be coming to the end of their Arsenal careers, saying: “It’s true for some players that this might be the last season for different reasons.”
Some of those decisions could be out of his hands, with Dani Ceballos, Martin Odegaard and Maty Ryan coming to the end of their loan deals and David Luiz out of contract in June.
With Alexandre Lacazette just one of the players who could opt to move on this summer and uncertainty over Bernd Leno’s future , however, Arteta and technical director Edu may have their work cut out for them.
Here’s Saturday’s Arsenal transfer round-up with all the latest developments.
Andre Onana to replace Leno?
According to Goal, Arsenal are interested in signing Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana this summer.
While Leno is undisputed No 1 as things stand, he has just over two years left on his current contract and admitted last month that he is “open to everything” including “a new adventure” away from the Emirates.
Still only 25 years of age, Onana has made over 200 senior appearances for Ajax and is one of the most experienced goalkeepers on the market at the moment. There are complicating factors, not least that he is serving a 12-month suspension for a doping violation which runs until February 2022.
Onana tested positive for the banned substance furosemide after an anti-doping control carried out last October, but maintains that he took it accidentally after he mistook medicine prescribed to his girlfriend for aspirin. Onana is awaiting the outcome of an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), with his lawyers hoping that his suspension will be reduced to eight months.
That would open up the prospect of a summer transfer, with Arsenal monitoring the situation closely. Ajax want around £12m for his services but, with his contract set to expire in 2022, an offer of around £7m might be enough to seal the deal.
Sander Berge release clause revealed
In light of Sheffield United’s relegation, Sander Berge could leave Bramall Lane this summer.
Arsenal, Everton and Aston Villa have been credited with an interest in the former Genk midfielder, whose time in Sheffield has been badly disrupted by injury.
As reported by Yorkshire Live , Berge has a release clause which makes Sheffield United vulnerable to offers. While he hasn’t agitated for a move away, they may struggle to hang onto him regardless.
While Berge initially had a £45m release clause written into his contract, that has dropped to £35m because of the club’s failure to preserve its Premier League status.
He has only made 15 appearances in all competitions this term but, age 23, he will want to make up for lost time next season.
Window of opportunity for Houssem Aouar?
After missing out on the opportunity to sign Houssem Aouar from Lyon last year, Arteta may get another chance in the coming months.
Speaking in a press conference, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas appears to have signalled that the French playmaker can depart this summer. “The departure of Houssem is not a wish of OL,” Aulas said. “If he wishes to leave, we will try to support him, as we have done for many years.
“Afterwards, if the offers do not correspond to what we want, he will stay in Lyon and we will be very happy.”
Aouar is no longer Arteta’s primary target in attacking midfield, reports Football.London , with talks to sign Odegaard permanently planned for the end of the season.
If Arsenal can’t negotiate a deal for Odegaard, however, then Aouar remains a potential alternative.
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