Roma demand causing frustration, as Arsenal stance on key exit emerges
Mikel Arteta is preparing to offload a number of Arsenal players, including Granit Xhaka, this summer as he looks to turn the club’s fortunes around, according to reports.
This season saw the Gunners finish in eighth position, meaning they failed to qualify for European competition for the first time in 25 years. As a result, the under-pressure Spaniard is willing to let a number of players go to begin a much-needed squad overhaul in north London. Indeed, finances are short at the Emirates Stadium.
Two notable casualties of Arsenal’s summer sales are believed to be Hector Bellerin and Granit Xhaka – two long standing servants of the club, as reported by Goal.
Interest in Xhaka has continued to mount in recent months, with new Roma boss Jose Mourinho hoping to bring the midfielder to the Italian capital.
One issue that may withhold the move from materialising is a difference in opinion between the two club’s regarding the Switzerland international’s value.
Roma’s prepared bid of £15millon for Xhaka is said to be much lower than the Gunners’ apparent asking price.
Bellerin, meanwhile, is a free agent this summer with only weeks left on his current contract and a number of clubs are currently vying for his signature.
A likely option for the right back is Real Betis, who have opened talks with the player about a potential move back to his home country.
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Barcelona previously entertained links, but it remains to be seen if Betis will overtake their La Liga rivals in the transfer race.
Goal adds that Arsenal want to resolve the futures of Xhaka and Bellerin ‘as quickly as possible’. Therefore, Roma’s initial insistence on a lower transfer fee for Xhaka is causing frustration for the Gunners.
Incomings also expected at Arsenal
In addition to a number of players being set to leave the club, Arteta is keen on bringing a number of new recruits to Arsenal.
One player reportedly on the Spanish manager’s radar is Barcelona outcast Philippe Coutinho, who the club view as a suitable replacement for Martin Odegaard.
With the Catalonia outfit being desperate to offload the Brazilian, an initial loan-to-buy deal could take place, with the Gunners being able to purchase Coutinho for as little as €40million.
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Another position Arsenal may look to strengthen this summer is the centre forward position, with Alexandre Lacazette’s future at the club still in doubt.
A replacement for Lacazette could also be a fellow Frenchman, with the club monitoring in-form Celtic striker, Odsonne Edouard.
Edouard has just 12 months left on his current contract with the Glasgow outfit meaning Arteta could land the striker for as little as £20million, depsite stiff competition from Everton and Leicester.