Creator on Arsenal’s January shopping list but clear-out is needed

The squad at the Emirates Stadium requires major surgery and the Gunners would like to strengthen it if possible.

That, as always, could prove very difficult in January but Mikel Arteta will look to do business if the right deal is doable.

His main target is a creative midfielder. Arsenal tracked Lyon’s Houssem Aouar in the summer and he is an option now. Norwich City’s Emi Buendia has also been scouted, while former Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen is being offered to clubs around Europe as he bids to leave Inter Milan.

Defence is also an area that Arsenal want to upgrade in, specifically a right-footed centre-back. David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos are all out of contract in the summer and are expected to leave then.

Ideally, Arsenal would sign a new centre-back at the end of the season – but they could move for one in January if a situation presents itself.

They will also look to offload players in January. William Saliba should leave on loan and Reiss Nelson is another being touted with a short-term move away.

The club will listen to offers for Sokratis, while Mustafi and Mesut Ozil are for sale too. The trio’s contracts expire in the summer, but if Arsenal could get them off the books now it would free up wages. Sead Kolasinac is also likely to return to Germany if a suitor is found.

Arsenal have an issue with home-grown players, though. They are two over the quota allowed already – with Sokratis and Ozil not registered to play – and therefore players must really leave believe before people come through the door.

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