Mikel Arteta makes honest Arsenal transfer admission on Champions League failure

Mikel Arteta has admitted it is a "no-brainer" that Arsenal will struggle to attract top players if they fail to qualify for the Champions League for a fourth successive season.

Last week the club reported losses of £27million for the year ending May 2019, the first time they have been in the red since 2002.

And they face the possibility of no European football at all next year and the financial ramifications that would entail.

A shock defeat to Olympiakos in the Europa League last 32 has closed off one route to a Champions League return, while they sit 10th in the Premier League .

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Finishing at least fourth was a staple for the club under Arsene Wenger, much to fans annoyance at times, but now they would love the chance to claim the last remaining Champions League spot.

"I think it is a no-brainer," Arteta replied when asked if it was easier to get players to sign when Champions League football was on offer.

"Every player in the world wants to play Champions League and, if you talk about having this option on the table, players are in a much more open way to join this club or to renew their contract or to convince anybody because we want to be in that competition.

"It will be difficult but this is the situation we are in now. We've been in that situation because we haven't performed as well as the other top four clubs have been doing.

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"That's the reality and we have to face that reality face to face and try to make the best decisions."

And Arteta said there was no margin for error to make mistakes with the money the club can invest.

"I think the damage caused by the club not being in the Champions League for the third season is really big," he added.

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"Financially the impact is enormous because the structure of this club is built to be in the Champions League and you can sustain that for one year or two, but then after you have to start making decisions.

"So we will have to make decisions one way or the other depending on the scenario we find ourselves, whether we are in the Champions League, Europa League or nowhere near that.

"We'll have a very clear plan of what we want to do and depending where we are we have to act like this."

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