Arsenal losing 4-1 to title rivals Manchester City on Wednesday has forced Mikel Arteta to completely overhaul his summer transfer plans, according to a report.
Kevin de Bruyne stole the show at the Etihad, scoring two and setting up another as City secured a huge victory in the Premier League title race. He was joined by John Stones and Erling Haaland on the scoresheet, as the latter registered his 49th goal of the season.
The result means City are just two points behind Arsenal with two games in hand. If they win both of those matches then they will establish a four-point lead on the Gunners, which will be incredibly hard for Arsenal to get back from due to City’s stunning form.
Arsenal have done exceptionally well to lead the title race for so long after finishing fifth in the league last season. However, they are now at serious risk of losing out on the trophy and must draw up plans to catch City next term.
According to The Sun, Arteta is ready to revamp his transfer plans in response to the City defeat. Originally, the coach was hoping to bring in two expensive marquee signings – Declan Rice of West Ham and Brighton’s Moises Caicedo.
He viewed the midfield as the main area of his squad which needed reinforcements. However, against City, Arsenal looked weak in defence without William Saliba.
While his centre-back replacement, Rob Holding, managed to get Arsenal’s only goal on the night, Arteta does not think City would have been so successful if Saliba had been on the pitch.
Due to this, Arteta is planning to ditch Holding further down the pecking order by landing a new centre-half. And this could in turn result in long-term target Rice being snubbed so big money can be spent elsewhere.
Arsenal could replace Holding with Prem star
The Sun write that Arsenal are interested in Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi. The Englishman has been a reliable performer this season and has even captained Palace on several occasions, despite being only 22 years of age.
Arsenal striking up an interest in Guehi could set up an intriguing transfer battle. Their north London rivals Tottenham are big admirers of the defender and this may result in a bidding war.
One problem for the potential transfer is the amount of game time Arsenal would be able to offer Guehi. At Palace he is playing week in, week out, but at Arsenal he would have to act as backup for Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes.
The report also reveals the cheaper midfield option Arsenal might land on instead of Rice, with the West Ham captain set to cost at least £70m.
It is claimed that the Gunners are back in the mix to sign Youri Tielemans. He will be available on a free transfer this summer after running down his Leicester contract.
TEAMtalk has previously been told that Tielemans was at risk of pricing himself out of an Arsenal move by asking for too much in wages.
But no club has agreed a deal with the Belgian yet, so perhaps he will lower his demands in order to make an Emirates move a reality.