Huge Mikel Arteta transfer decision as Arsenal prioritise £100m summer signing over January improvements

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta has made a big decision on future transfers at Arsenal, deciding to pursue an England star rated at £100million this summer rather than any expensive January arrivals.

Arsenal are yet to sign anyone this month, despite links with several players. They were hoping to land Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid, but he ended up joining Chelsea on loan.

Arsenal were also beaten to Mykhaylo Mudryk. After making several bids for the winger, Shakhtar Donetsk instead accepted Chelsea’s proposal. It is worth an initial £62m but could cost as much as £88m depending on add-ons, with Mudryk penning a long-term deal at Stamford Bridge.

The Gunners are determined not to get into bidding wars for players, so they do not end up paying over the odds. This is shown by them pulling out of the races to sign Lisandro Martinez and Douglas Luiz last summer.

Arsenal did get into a bit of a bidding war with Chelsea for Mudryk. Although, sporting director Edu knew when it was the right time to stop.

There has now been a big update on Arteta and Arsenal’s transfer plans from the Daily Star. It is claimed the north London side will have a rather cheap January, to save money for their main summer target.

Arsenal could still bring one or two new players to the Emirates this month. But this will only happen if they are available for the right price, which will have to be on the cheap side. One potential arrival is that of Leandro Trossard. As per Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal have begun talks with Brighton for him.

Arteta wants to save as much money as possible to fund Arsenal’s pursuit of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

Arsenal could beat Chelsea to massive signing

The 24-year-old has long been linked with Chelsea, due to his close friendship with Mason Mount and time spent in the Blues academy. But Arsenal are now emerging as frontrunners to capture him from West Ham.

Depending on which journalist you believe, Rice either wants to stay in London for his next move or is happy to go elsewhere in England, such as Manchester. Clearly, the former would benefit Arsenal. It would rule the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City out of the running.

Arteta’s decision to save money for Rice is a clever one. After all, the Hammers skipper will not come cheap. David Moyes has previously put his value at between £100m and £150m.

Of course, he should not cost Arsenal this much in the summer as his contract expires in June 2024. However, Arsenal will probably still have to spend more than £60m on him due to his great performances at the top level and the huge interest in his services.

Arsenal have been on the lookout for a new central midfielder for some time. Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey are both performing excellently this season, but Arteta cannot rely solely on them. Rice would be a huge upgrade on fellow midfield options Mohamed Elneny and Albert Sambi Lokonga.

Arteta has previously looked into signing Leicester’s Youri Tielemans. But his wage demands are too high. Plus, he has opted to stay at the King Power for the rest of the season.

Rice has now leapfrogged Tielemans as Arsenal’s midfield priority. This is certainly a transfer saga to keep an eye on as the year progresses.

Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand believes a Man Utd ace ‘wipes the floor’ with an Arsenal player he has been compared to.