Arteta on Arsenal's transfer plans
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Arsenal signing either Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe would arguably be the most surprising transfer of all time, but both players could inadvertently create new scenarios for the Gunners to exploit. Mikel Arteta is down to the bare bones for central attacking options after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was allowed to leave in January for free.
Come the end of the season, there is a very real possibility that Arteta could face a situation where he has no recognised central striker with both Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah out of contract.
They missed out on top target Dusan Vlahovic to replace Aubameyang in January with the 22-year-old ultimately choosing to join Juventus.
Arsenal’s focus is now solely on finishing inside the top four to secure Champions League football next season and act as a more promising destination for prospective targets.
This summer is likely to be dominated by clubs predominantly looking to delve into the market for new strikers.
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Arsenal are not alone in needing to freshen things up through the middle with Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea also likely to make some additions.
The two biggest stars in world football not named Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi look set to be on the move this summer.
Haaland and Mbappe have both hinted that they’ll find new clubs at the end of the season, but their destination looks set to be La Liga.
Barcelona and Real Madrid are at the front of the queue to sign both players, leaving the Premier League sides high and dry.
That could well see Arsenal’s rivals move on to targets such as Jonathan David and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
It’s been suggested that Mbappe will head to Real with Haaland wanting to join Barcelona.
If both moves happen then that could present an opportunity for Arsenal to land their own wildcard option.
If Real end up signing Mbappe, that all-but seals Luka Jovic’s fate away from the Bernabeu.
The Serbia international fits the mould for the kind of player Arsenal have targeted in the transfer market recently at just 24 years of age.
While Jovic has struggled to find any form in La Liga, he did find the net 27 times in his final season with Frankfurt before joining Real proving that he knows how to find the net in the right system.
If Arsenal are able to snap Jovic up for the right price and can get him to rediscover his best form then it could prove to be a bargain.
Haaland joining Barcelona could also help Arsenal look back on former target Memphis Depay.
The 28-year-old has enjoyed an impressive debut season with Barcelona with 10 goals in just 15 starts.
But if Haaland joins then Depay’s place in Xavi’s side could diminish as he’s had to make do with appearances off the bench in his last two games.
The Holland international wants to be competing at the highest level, but the chance to be the main man at Arsenal could prove to be an attractive proposition.
While Arsenal will bemoan the situation where they’re not seen as a viable option for Haaland or Mbappe, either Jovic or Depay could prove to be smart business in the summer.
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