Premier League • England

Arsenal prepare hectic clearout with nine stars on thin ice before imminent transfer deadline

Folarin Balogun, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Albert Sambi Lokonga

Folarin Balogun, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Albert Sambi Lokonga could all leave Arsenal

Arsenal could still sanction nine departures from their squad in the final week of the transfer window, according to a report.

The Daily Mail claims that Folarin Balogun, Gabriel Magalhaes, Kieran Tierney, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Rob Holding, Cedric Soares, Nicolas Pepe and Nuno Tavares are all at risk of being sent elsewhere.

Arsenal broke their transfer record to sign Declan Rice from West Ham earlier this summer and have also invested in players like Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber.

Therefore, they will need to oversee some outgoing operations too; the only regular starter from last season they have cashed in on so far has been Granit Xhaka.

As the Mail reflects, there are still almost double figures of players facing uncertain Arsenal futures ahead of the September 1 transfer deadline.

Various sources are indicating that Tierney is close to leaving for Real Sociedad on loan, while Monaco might be about to buy Balogun. As things stand, those two could be the quickest exits from the list in question.

But some of the other players have suitors waiting in line. For example, Tavares has been tipped to link up with Unai Emery at Aston Villa. The report also links Tomiyasu to Crystal Palace and Lokonga to Brighton.

Some of the other candidates to leave could depart the Premier League altogether. Holding is back on Besiktas’ radar, Pepe is being pursued in Saudi Arabia, and Cedric could return to his native Portugal with either Porto, Sporting or Benfica.

Gabriel more likely to stay than leave Arsenal

Perhaps the least likely player to leave of the nine in question would be Gabriel, despite interest from the Saudi Pro League and Real Madrid. A long-term injury to Timber means depriving themselves of another centre-back would be illogical.

If Arsenal can find an upgrade, though – with the report naming Palace’s Marc Guehi as someone of interest – there is an outside chance of them sacrificing Gabriel.

Arsenal should be able to balance the books before addressing the Gabriel topic. Although Tierney is only leaving on loan, they will earn a significant windfall from the sale of Balogun after his breakthrough season on loan with Reims.

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