Barcelona expect Arsenal to sign midfielder as report reveals exact amount Mikel Arteta can spend in January

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal manager, during a Europa League press conference

Mikel Arteta is set to be handed a £50m transfer warchest to help take Arsenal over the Premier League title race line – with the capture of a midfielder looking increasingly likely to be his first piece of business.

The Gunners have made a stupendous start to the Premier League season. Collecting 12 wins from their first 14 games, they sit five points clear of reigning champions Manchester City and will be top on Christmas Day.

Traditionally, the team that is top on the day santa comes down the chimney is usually a big indicator of who goes on to Premier League glory. However, the Gunners will have their work cut out in holding off Pep Guardiola’s side when the season resumes.

Indeed, Arsenal’s cause is not helped by injury to Gabriel Jesus. The Gunners have been delivered the worst possible news with the striker reportedly having to go under the knife and facing three months on the sidelines.

Signing a new striker is something they may consider, though they do have Eddie Nketiah and could move Gabriel Martinelli into a central role.

That plan could come to fruition if Arteta follows through with his plan to sign a new winger. Seeking cover and competition for Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, the addition of another forward would give Arteta that option.

To that end, a number of stars have been linked, with Mykhaylo Mudryk their top target. However, the Ukrainian comes with an eye-watering price and Arteta may be forced to look elsewhere.

Arteta ready for Youri Tielemans transfer at Arsenal

Arteta is also in the market for a new midfielder. Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka have been in excellent form, but the Gunners lack quality alternatives in their squad.

To that end, Arteta wants an upgrade on Mohamed Elneny and Albert Sambi Lokonga, neither of whom look up to the required standards.

Now a report claims Arteta has had his January budget confirmed by the club’s owners. And, as per Football Insider, Arsenal will have £50m to spend on squad reinforcements.

Within that budget, Arteta will challenge technical director Edu with landing his two top targets. Furthermore, any room left in the budget will potentially be put into the loan signing of an a new centre forward to cover Jesus’ absence.

However, it seems the first signing will cost around £12m – £15m in the shape of Youri Tielemans.

The Leicester star is out of contract at the end of the season and will leave in 2023. The Foxes’ relegation fears have eased, meaning the club will now consider offers for the Belgium in January.

Gunners transfer looks to be on

The likes of Liverpool, Newcastle and Barcelona are also reportedly keeping a watch on his situation.

But according to Marca, Barcelona are now resigned to losing the Tielemans race to Arsenal.

They report that, after reaching out to his representative, the midfielder is not interested in a move to the Nou Camp. And it’s claimed they have learned that Tielemans’ preference is a switch to Emirates Stadium.

Barcelona were only reportedly keen to sign him on a pre-contract agreement anyway, leaving Arsenal in the driving seat.

The report claims Xavi will now focus instead on possible deals for Ruben Neves and Ilkay Gundogan. Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi is another target, though he’s being touted for a January move to Manchester United.

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