Thursday, June 1, 2023

Mikel Arteta targets five players in huge Arsenal summer shake-up as four could leave

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Rather than make the odd addition, Arteta wants a major shake-up to ensure that Arsenal are ready to go again and ensure they can make another major push for the title.

Mikel Arteta is ready to have one of his busiest transfer windows since taking charge at the Emirates.

Rather than make the odd addition, Arteta wants a major shake-up to ensure that Arsenal are ready to go again and ensure they can make another major push for the title.

Arsenal will see significant ins and outs this summer as they look to build on this season and challenge Manchester City again next season.

They will be boosted by the return to the Champions League and having major funds because they are back in Europe’s top competition.

Arsenal have made West Ham captain Declan Rice their No1 transfer target this summer and his potential arrival would bolster the spine of the team.

But they also want a centre half, full back, another midfielder and a right winger to ensure they have more depth to their squad and greater options because that has undoubtedly been their undoing this season.

Gunners boss Arteta wants more physicality and presence – those shortcomings were ruthlessly highlighted in both defeats to City this season – in his squad.

It is obvious that City will take some catching because Pep Guardiola is vastly experienced, a serial winner and his champions-in-waiting do have the resources to blow rivals away.

But Arsenal are determined not to rest on their laurels and fear other clubs will be stronger next season such as Manchester United and Liverpool. It remains to be seen whether Chelsea can come back under Mauricio Pochettino.

That is why Arteta believes they must be super ambitious with their rebuild to make sure they are ready to go again.

Arteta is a huge admirer of Granit Xhaka but, as Mirror Sport reported last week, Bayer Leverkusen want the Switzerland midfielder and captain.

AC Milan have been heavily linked with Folarin Balogun who could fetch up to £30m after his successful loan spell at Stade de Reims.

Kieran Tierney has been a target for Newcastle after losing his place to Oleksandr Zinchenko while Emile Smith Rowe could also be a departure which would divide opinion among fans as he is a huge popular homegrown talent.

But Arsenal could be looking at raising huge funds with sales and then looking to strengthen with fresh cash to spend, bearing in mind they were ready to spend bigger in January and last summer after missing out on Raphinha and Mykhailo Mudryk.

The No.8 could be interesting as they potentially look to replace Smith Rowe with Chelsea’s Mason Mount potentially available, although Pochettino could yet try hard to keep him.

Leicester could lose Youri Tielemans and James Maddison – who has just one year left on his deal – this summer if they go down.

Arsenal also have Crystal Palace ’s Marc Guehi on their hit list as William Saliba’s injury exposed a gap in Arsenal’s defensive options. His absence coincided with the drop in form and conceding goals and leads against Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton in the run-in.

But Eintracht Frankfurt defender Evan Ndicka could be available on a free transfer, although there is big competition for the 6ft 3in 23-year-old.

They have also been linked with Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby who could move this summer.

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