Arsenal chiefs are keen to sign both Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar before the October 5 transfer deadline after signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a new three-year contract at the Emirates. Star striker and captain Aubameyang confirmed he had inked a new deal on Monday.
As well as tying Aubameyang, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli down to new-and-improved deals, the Gunners have added Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes to Mikel Arteta’s squad.
Arsenal have also signed Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares to permanent deals while re-signing Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid.
But despite committing to paying Aubameyang an extra £50,000 a week – with lucrative bonuses also included in his contract extension – Arsenal want to do more business in the coming weeks.
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Arteta is eager to further bolster his options in central midfield with Lyon’s attack-minded midfielder Aouar and dominant Atletico Madrid holder Partey on his wishlist.
And the Daily Mirror say Arsenal’s board would like to bring both players to north London this summer despite their strained finances.
Atletico want £45million for Partey due to a release clause in his contract and are thought to have rejected a player-plus-cash bid that included Matteo Guendouzi for the Ghanaian earlier in the window.
Arsenal cannot meet that asking price until they sell players, with Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira and Sead Kolasinac topping the list of players who could leave.
Torreira is set to join Torino on an initial loan move that would eventually net Arsenal £22m for the Uruguayan’s services.
While Emiliano Martinez is on the cusp of a move to Aston Villa worth in the region of £20m after saying his farewell to the Gunners on Instagram on Tuesday evening.
The Mirror add that Lyon would demand over £40m for Aouar, 22, who is also admired by Manchester City and Juventus among others.
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And Arsenal would love to sign both Partey and Aouar to offer a significant upgrade to their current midfield options.
That would delight the likes of Aubameyang, who wants to help Arsenal get back into the Champions League.
Speaking to Arsenal legend Ian Wright after putting pen to paper, Aubameyang: “Look at the guys that came in [this summer]. I think we can do something very big.
“And also the young players as well, they are coming like fire and this is why I stay. Because I know we have something to do.
“I said a few months ago that the best is to come for sure, for Arsenal. It’s time for everyone to respect our club.”
And he added: “I had a chat with Mikel, that I think he gave me something very clear about the idea of the future of the club and about me.
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“He was straight and honest, and that’s what I like because we are always honest. He said, ‘Okay, you can maybe leave. I don’t know what your mind is [thinking] right now, but you can leave and go for trophies at other clubs or you can stay here and have a legacy.’ This, for me, was the key word.
“We had a chat when we were in lockdown. He called me. Normally we have to speak about a game. He called me and said, ‘Forget about it.’
“I had prepared maybe two pages and he said, ‘Yeah, forget about it. Let’s talk about real things.’
“He said, ‘I want to be honest with you, how do you feel?’ And I was like, ‘I have to say the truth, I feel very good.’ It was maybe two months, or three months that he was here and the training, you can feel the passion.
“You can feel everything from this guy. He is so good, he’s the kind of guy who you can trust in him.”
Arsenal are also expected to try and recruit a new back-up goalkeeper with Martinez leaving. Iceland’s Runar Alex Runarsson is expected to be the man to become Arsenal’s new No 2.
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