Premier League • England

Double Arsenal transfer move explodes into life as Edu works overtime to get deals over the line

Edu is the Arsenal sporting director

Arsenal sporting director Edu still hopes to bring in new faces to the club this month – but plans to tie up the exits of both Mohamed Elneny and Cedric Soares first are gathering serious pace with the likely destination for both players now coming to light.

Mikel Arteta’s side have seen their excellent start to the new season fall away in recent weeks, off the back of three damaging defeats. Top of the table on Christmas Day, London derby losses to West Ham and Fulham in the Premier League, and then Liverpool in the FA Cup, have seen ambitions somewhat tempered for Arsenal supporters.

Nonetheless, the Gunners have a lot to be optimistic over during the second half of the season, and a solid run of form can ensure they are very much in the mix to both challenge for the Premier League title and go as far as possible in the Champions League. Next up in Europe’s premier competition is a Round of 16 tie against Porto next month – a game which will give Arteta and Co a firm belief they can reach the quarter-finals in.

In the meantime, hopes of strengthening their squad appear to be on the backburner, for the time being at least, with clubs either wanting too much for their prized assets, or clubs simply unwilling to sell in the winter window.

For that reason alone, the January window has always been seen as by far the tougher of the two windows to do business in, with this article here explaining why the Gunners face such a delay.

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Edu looking to move along unwanted Arsenal pair

And for all the success Arteta and Edu have enjoyed on the transfer front, the project at Emirates Stadium is far from finished with their squad still containing plenty of holes in it.

In an ideal world, Arteta would love to get his hands on both a new midfielder and striker this month, especially given the Gunners’ recent failure to convert the numerous chances they are creating, together with some very noticeable holes in their engine room.

However, while Arsenal have been strongly backed to move for Martin Zubimendi on Monday, the Gunners are yet to dip their toes into the January market with only the loan recall of Brazilian winger Marquinhos, from Nantes, their only activity so far.

According to HITC, though, all that could be about to change with the Gunners working to shift both Elneny and Soares this month. The experienced pair are both out of contract at the end of the season and told they have no chance of extensions.

Indeed, TEAMtalk revealed in December that Edu would not stand in Soares’ way if a suitable offer came in.

And we also exclusively revealed that Arsenal were also actively encouraging bids for Egyptian star Elneny amid early interest in his services from the Saudi Pro League.

Now HITC have confirmed that the pair are indeed subject of interest from Saudi sides, with Turkish sides Trabzonspor and Besiktas also holding talks over a possible move for Elneny.

Turkey transfer an option for both

A move to Turkey also looks on the cards for Soares, with Galatarsaray expressing an interest in his signing amid fears they could lose French full-back Sacha Boey, who has been linked with the Gunners, among others.

And with Edu making clear the pair can leave for nominal fees, the race to snap up the pair is seemingly gathering pace.

With the pair nowhere near making Arteta’s first-team plans, Edu is now of the belief that any fee, as opposed to nothing, will be welcome right now, giving their suitors hope that a bargain deal could well be on the cards.

Elneny has been at Arsenal since a January 2016 move from Basel and has made 159 appearances across his eight years at Emirates Stadium. Just four of those have come this season, however.

Soares, meanwhile, joined the Gunners from Southampton, initially on a six-month loan deal in January 2020, before the move became a permanent £5m move later that year.

The Portuguese full-back has made just 61 appearances under Arteta and just two this term.

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