‘Desperate’ Arsenal scramble to axe three first-teamers after Arteta vow

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta speaking after their 2-0 defeat to Brentford 2021

Arsenal have put three first-team stars up for sale and are actively ‘looking for bids’ after Mikel Arteta’s desire was revealed, per a report.

Arsenal endured a torrid start to the new campaign when falling to newly-promoted Brentford 2-0. Two of their three major buys in the transfer window started the contest and endured mixed fortunes on the night,

Albert Sambi Lokonga looked calm and composed in midfield, but Ben White struggled in a two-man centre-back pairing against the movement and energy of Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbuemo.

Further additions were always expected at the Emirates, but that defeat may have accelerated proceedings.

Indeed, deals to sign goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and playmaker Martin Odegaard are reportedly on the verge of completion.

But to help balance the books, the Sun report Arsenal are aiming to offload three first-teamers who Arteta has deemed ‘surplus to requirements’.

Citing reliable source Fabrizio Romano, they reveal Arsenal are actively ‘looking for bids’ for Willian, Hector Bellerin and Lucas Torreira.

Brazilian winger Willian, 33, has reportedly ‘wanted to leave the club since May’. Arsenal’s feeling is now mutual after the ex-Chelsea star made minimal impact on his debut season in North London.

Brief speculation has swirled regarding an approach from Saudi Arabian side Al-Ahli. However, Romano declared those stories to be ‘completely fake’.

Right-back Bellerin was previously on the radar of Barcelona, PSG and Inter Milan. Barcelona’s financial strife ensured they dropped out of the race, while PSG signed Achraf Hakimi from Inter.

That left the Serie A champions in pole position to land Bellerin, but Inter recently signed PSV’s Denzel Dumfries in the position.

August 19 Transfer Chatter - Lewandowski wants a new challenge, Man City identify a new striker target and Arsenal to confirm new 'keeper

August 19 Transfer Chatter - Lewandowski wants a new challenge, Man City identify a new striker target and Arsenal to confirm new 'keeper

Robert Lewandowski reveals he wants a new challenge a top European club, Manchester City identify another target if a move for Harry Kane is blocked and Arsenal to announce a new goalkeeping addition this week, all in today's transfer chatter.

That has left Bellerin out in the cold, though the Sun highlight the ambitious possibility of a surprise swap deal with Atletico involving Kieran Trippier.

Finally, Uruguayan midfielder Torreira is up for grabs. Torreira spent last season on loan with Atletico but reportedly does not hold Arteta’s ‘trust’.

Torreira previously made his desire to leave crystal clear after suffering a family tragedy. With Granit Xhaka now expected to remain at Arsenal for the long haul and Lokonga signed, Torreira has no path back to the starting eleven.

Five reasons Barcelona might actually be better off without Lionel Messi

Aubameyang clarifies Arsenal future 

Meanwhile, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wants to fulfil the contract he signed with Arsenal last summer despite the club being open to offers for him, according to a report.

Arsenal found themselves in a tricky situation last year, when Aubameyang delayed over signing a new deal. But they managed to convince him to stay in the end – on huge wages. They may be having some regrets about that decision now; his form on the pitch has not repaid them.

Arsenal’s confidence has decreased and a recent report said they were open to offers for him.

It then emerged that a Barcelona side looking to get creative in a difficult financial situation could try to sign him in a complicated swap deal.

But according to the Daily Express, Aubameyang has no intention of leaving Arsenal. Although he was very much considering his future last summer, he is committed to the cause now. The contract he signed last summer still has two years left to run, which he intends to see out.

READ MORE: Two imminent Arsenal transfers savaged with stinging £135m ‘B team’ jibe