Arsenal: Arteta details plan to return to top four
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Arsenal’s hopes of landing Sporting forward Tiago Tomas this summer have taken a hit as a result of the club’s failure to qualify for European competition next season, according to reports. The 18-year-old has been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium for some time, with club director Edu said to be keen on bringing in reinforcements at the top of the pitch ahead of next season.
The Gunners look set for a busy summer transfer window as Mikel Arteta aims to lead a large-scale overhaul of his playing squad, with the hope of mounting a renewed top-four challenge next time around.
A number of players appear set to leave the club in the coming months, including the likes of Sead Kolasinac, Lucas Torreira and Willian, while the futures of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are far from certain.
The former will be out of contract at the end of next season and has been linked with Atletico Madrid and Juventus in recent months, while Nketiah has struggled for minutes as of late and has been tipped to join Brighton and Hove Albion in search of regular first-team football.
Plenty of names have been mentioned in connection with Arsenal ahead of the summer window, with Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard and Luka Jovic of Real Madrid previously believed to be on Arteta’s radar.
However, it seems as though Edu is eager to sign Tomas, but the teenage forward’s arrival is said to be hanging in the balance despite a long period of negotiations.
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The Gunners have been locked in talks for a number of months, but Sporting are determined to keep hold of their best players after winning their first Portuguese title in 19 years and are unlikely to sell, according to The Sun.
The report claims that Arsenal’s failure to book their place in any European competition for next season, including the all-new third-tier Europa Conference League, has also damaged their prospects of landing their man.
Tomas penned a new five-year deal with Sporting twelve months ago with a release clause of £52million, which was expected to be lowered to around £20million as a result of the club’s precarious financial situation.
Despite this, the Portuguese club’s recent domestic triumph is said to have strengthened their position ahead of the transfer window, with Manchester City and Manchester United target Nuno Mendes believed to be their only player up for sale this summer.
Tomas scored six times in all competitions for Sporting this season, establishing himself as one of Europe’s hottest prospects in the process.
If Arsenal are unsuccessful in their attempts to bring him to north London, they will be forced to look elsewhere in order to address their attacking dilemma.
Meanwhile, former England winger Trevor Sinclair has suggested that the Gunners should pursue a move for Chelsea outcast Tammy Abraham, who has failed to hold down a spot in the Blues side since the turn of the year.
The 23-year-old finished the season as the club’s joint-top scorer despite seeing his first-team opportunities dry up under Thomas Tuchel.
“He’s got everything, Arsenal could do with him,” Sinclair told talkSPORT earlier this month.
“Lacazette is getting older. He’d be a hold-up player, bringing something slightly different with his height. He’s mobile, he’s got good feet, he could be a good pick for Arsenal.
“But he’s obviously a talented player. I’m a big fan of his. I just want to see him playing football.
“If he’s not developing and continuing to improve as a player, he’s standing still and that’s not great for a young player.”
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