The first of four high profile Arsenal exits is taking shape, and the Gunners will use the funds generated to sign a £170m pair, per reports.
According to the Times, Arsenal are far from content to rest on their laurels this summer. The Gunners are in no mood to sit back and admire the progress they’ve made this term and as such, are gearing up for a blockbuster transfer window.
Indeed, the publication report Arsenal have given Arteta the greenlight to sign West Ham captain, Declan Rice, and Brighton midfielder, Moises Caicedo.
The latter was a transfer target for the Gunners in January, though despite lodging sizeable bids, neither Arsenal or Chelsea could convince Brighton to cash in.
The situation could be different at season’s end and Arsenal are prepared to go above and beyond from a financial perspective to get deals done.
The Times report Arsenal’s summer spend ‘may exceed £200m’ when all is said and done. Rice and Caicedo are up first and per the report, will cost a combined £170m. The breakdown is speculated to be roughly £100m (including add-ons) for Rice and around £70m for Caicedo.
To free up both funds and squad space for the colossal outlay, the report names four first-team stars who could be sold.
Centre-back, Rob Holding, midfielder Granit Xhaka and attackers Emile Smith Rowe and Folarin Balogun are the quartet in question.
Of that foursome, it’s Xhaka who already has his next move lined up.
Xhaka nearing four-year deal with Leverkusen
Indeed, Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg brought news of Bayer Leverkusen lining the 30-year-old up. Their manager, Xabi Alonso, reportedly views Xhaka as a ‘top leader’ leader who can add a missing ingredient to his side.
Not long after, Fabrizio Romano tweeted a move to Leverkusen is quickly taking shape.
The trusted reporter noted Xhaka is “set to leave Arsenal at the end of the season”. A new contract is out of the question and both his and Arsenal’s plan is to sever ties.
Romano added Leverkusen are in “advanced” discussions over the deal and an agreement on personal terms is close. A four-year deal running until 2027 will be signed.
Arsenal are primed to pocket around €15m (approx. £13m) from the sale. That is a far cry from the roughly £30m he was signed for from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2017, though is merely a by-product of the fact he’s now the wrong side of 30.
Xhaka is the first high profile exit on the agenda at the Emirates, though won’t be the last.
The Times named Holding, Smith Rowe and Balogun who were also present on a 14-man out-list, as reported by Goal.