Arsenal could look to sell up to five players over the next two transfer windows to generate the funds needed to secure the signing of Raheem Sterling, claims a report.
After a stellar Euro 2020 campaign, Sterling has come back down to earth with a bang at club level. The Manchester City winger has completed a full 90 minutes just once in the Premier League this term. He also featured for just three minutes during the recent 1-0 victory over Chelsea.
That led to Sterling recently outlining his career concerns in the Guardian. He claimed he would be “open” to moving elsewhere if it meant more guaranteed gametime.
And, in turn, that has led to claims that Arsenal will break their transfer record to try and lure him to Emirates Stadium.
Rated in the £80m bracket, any deal for Sterling would top the £72m they paid Lille for Nicolas Pepe in 2019.
However, having spent the best part of £130m over the summer, the Gunners may need to sell before they can buy.
And the Daily Express has named five players Mikel Arteta could look to move on to generate the required funds.
And they claim three out-on-loan stars will be the first out the door in the form of Matteo Guendouzoi, Lucas Torreira and Hector Bellerin.
The trio were all allowed to leave Emirates Stadium this summer, making loans to Marseille, Fiorentina and Real Betis, respectively.
The trio appear to have no future at Arsenal and the Gunners would hope to generate a fair amount on their sales.
The Gunners believe a good season for Guendouzi could push his value up to around £15m.
La Viola, meanwhile, have a £12m option on Torreira, while Betis can make Bellerin’s move permanent for around £18m.
Raheem Sterling 'hell-bent' on leaving Manchester City
Raheem Sterling is reportedly 'hell-bent' on leaving Manchester City due to a lack of game time, with more updates on Christopher Nkunku and Bernardo Silva.
In addition, Arsenal are actively seeking a buyer for striker Eddie Nketiah.
With his deal expiring in the summer, the Gunners are willing to sell for a fee of around £10m.
The likes of Brighton and West Ham remain interested.
The fifth player the report says will be offloaded in Ainsley Maintland-Niles.
However, he could finally be granted his exit wish and a move to Everton looks like a possible option again.
Guardiola opens door for Sterling
Whether Arsenal do make a move, one man who wants to see him stay at City is Pep Guardiola.
Speaking in his Friday press conference, the City boss spoke at length about Sterling’s situation.
In doing so, he hinted several times that Sterling should seek a move away if he is unhappy with Pep’s management of the club.
“I didn’t know it. I didn’t think the club knew,” said Guardiola. “Raheem is our player, hopefully he will be an incredibly important player for us. I don’t know if he wants to play more.
“Like Riyad doesn’t play and he doesn’t complain, Joao when he doesn’t play and he doesn’t complain. I cannot assure them, they know it, I cannot assure how many minutes each one plays.
“Always they have to speak on the pitch. That is the best moment. Not Raheem, all of them. They know they are going to play minutes, I’m not a guy who only plays 11 players, all of them are involved.
“What I want from Raheem and everyone is they have to be satisfied to be here and delighted to be in this club. If that’s not the case he has to take the best decision for his family, for all the people who love them. They have to be happy.
“More gametime I understand completely, I was a player, all the time I wanted to play. Not just Raheem but all of them want to play every game but I cannot assure them. They have to improve every training session and be there on the pitch and be happy there.”
When asked if he’s confident Sterling will say, the Spaniard replied: “I’m not involved in contract. The club decides.”