Unai Emery reportedly has no plans for Arsenal to make any signings in the January transfer window after being scared off a deal for a defender earmarked as a potential target.
The Gunners have made an fairly solid start to the new season, but there is obvious room for improvement despite heading into the recent international break third in the Premier League.
One of the main areas for concern remains around their central defence and it’s no surprise to see Emery looking at potential reinforcements to try and give their backline more solidity.
Reports on Monday claimed Arsenal were looking at Villarreal defender Pau Torres after a personal recommendation from former Gunners star Santi Cazorla, while Scunthorpe’s talented youngster Joey Dawson was also mentioned as a potential January target.
However, according The Athletic‘s David Ornstein, Emery has decided to keep his powder dry in the winter window after learning the cost of his No 1 target was far beyond Arsenal’s spending powers.
As per the report, Arsenal have sent scouts to make regular checks on RB Leipzig’s powerful French centre-half Dayot Upamecano and he’s been earmarked as a potential recruit to beef up their defence.
However, Leipzig are adamant the player will not be sold on the cheap and are reported to have placed a €100m (£88m) price tag on his head – a fee way beyond the Gunners capabilities, particularly in the January window.
Needless to say Arsenal and Emery have balked at the quoted fee for the defender, and it’s said the Gunners will instead focus on trimming the deadwood from their squad ahead of a fresh transfer assault – possibly with Upamecano in mind – in the summer.
As for departures, Ornstein expects, unsurprisingly, Mesut Ozil to be the highest-profile exit, with Fenerbahce looking favourites to sign the out-of-favour German on an initial loan deal. That news will not go down too well with Paul Merson.