Arsenal are ready to free up space in their squad for some late forrays into the transfer window by allowing four of their unwanted stars – starting with Albert Sambi Lokonga – to leave Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners have invested heavily during the off season, spending well in excess of £100m for the second summer running. Five new players have been welcomed in by the Gunners, with Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus costing a combined £78m from Manchester City. But after spending so freely, Arsenal do need to claw back some of their outlays with some departures of their own.
To that end, Arsenal have already waved farewell to six first-team stars, including Alexandre Lacazette, Lucas Torreira and Bernd Leno. However, Mikel Arteta wants to further trim down Arsenal’s squad by allowing four more fringe stars to depart.
To that end, the next of those exits is reportedly closing in with Lokonga reportedly in talks with AC Milan.
The Belgian arrived in a £15.8m move from Anderlecht last summer and featured 19 times in the Premier League. However, the 22-year-old midfielder looked a little lost at times and only completed 90 minutes in nine of those games.
That said, he provides Arsenal with useful squad cover, particularly in light of their upcoming Europa League campaign. As such, a few people have raised eyebrows over his potential exit.
However, as per il Corriere dello Sport, talks between the two clubs are gathering pace with Arteta ready to approve his exit.
That will see Lokonga move to the San Siro on a season’s loan deal. The finer workings of the deal are still to be resolved, that said. And it remains uncertain whether Milan will secure an option to sign Lokonga at the end of the temporary switch.
Three more exits to follow Albert Sambi Lokonga
The Gunners are also experting another departure to go through in the coming days with Pablo Mari closing on a move to Monza.
The Spanish defender has rarely featured for Arsenal, playing in just 19 games in total. The 28-year-old was loaned to Udinese in January after finding first-team football hard to come by.
Now fifth in the pecking order following William Saliba’s return, Mari is closing on a permanent move away.
He is understood to be currently in Italy, where he is undergoing a medical before signing on loan at Monza. That deal will give the Serie A new boys the chance to make the deal a permanent £5.9m one if they avoid relegation.
Arsenal are also ready to listen to offers for two more fringe stars in Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
The pair both spent time out on loan last season, with Nelson at Feyenoord and Maitland-Niles hooking up with Roma.
However, football.london claims the pair will be allowed to leave Emirates on permanent deals if suitable bids come in.
Arsenal set sights on two signings of their own
With still three weeks remaining in the transfer window, Arteta and Edu remain active in their chase for new additions.
As such, reports claim the Gunners are working on two new recruits of their own with a new midfielder and a new winger in sights.
As far as a wideman goes, Arsenal are firmly on the trail of Villarreal star Yeremi Pino.
The 19-year-old enjoyed a breakthrough season with the Yellow Submarine last time out, earning four caps for Spain.
And while he has a huge £67m release clause in his deal, Villarreal are open to his sale to help their financial situation.
Arteta wants to add more goals to his wings and reportedly sees Yeremy as an option to cover Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.
Arsenal’s offer of £33m for Villarreal winger Yeremy Pino set to be accepted
Arsenal’s reported offer of £33m for Villarreal winger Yeremy Pino is set to be accepted by the Yellow Submarine.
Reports on Wednesday claim a £33m offer from the Gunners is likely to be accepted.
The second player on their wishlist is Sandro Tonali.
The AC Milan midfielder is rated in the £46.5m (€55m) bracket. However, he will reportedly be allowed to depart if the Rossoneri can land a replacement. It’s not known, however, whether his name has come into discussions as part of the Lokonga deal.