Arsenal transfer targets: Who the Gunners are looking to sign this summer

  • Arsenal must oversee efficient summer window to set up crucial 2024/25
  • Gunners' recruitment has been crucial to rise under Mikel Arteta
  • Priority striker target Benjamin Sesko signed new deal at RB Leipzig
Mikel Arteta's Arsenal have fallen short in back-to-back title races
Mikel Arteta's Arsenal have fallen short in back-to-back title races / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Arsenal's improvement under Mikel Arteta is undeniable, but now they must figure out how to make the final leap.

The Gunners recorded their highest Premier League points tally since the Invincibles campaign of 2003/04 last season having enjoyed a 25-point hike in 2022/23 from the campaign prior. Arsenal's evolution has been pretty remarkable, with the club's recruitment playing a key role in their rise under the Spaniard.

Edu and Arteta's work on the transfer front has got Arsenal into a position where they can compete fiercely with Manchester City, but there's still work to be done if they're to usurp them in 2024/25 - potentially Pep Guardiola's final season in the Premier League.

The Gunners' squad is strong and Arteta was reliant on a select few down the stretch last season, but there are areas to build upon and bolster.

Positions Arsenal need to strengthen this summer

Kai Havertz
Kai Havertz shone as Arsenal's #9 during the second-half of the season / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Striker was the overwhelming priority in the winter window, but Arsenal's financial constraints meant their hands were tied.

Fortunately, Kai Havertz emerged during the second half of the season as a legitimate option up top for Arteta, with the German's productive run of form begging the question of whether the Gunners' summer priorities had shifted.

Arsenal are still expected to acquire a number nine ahead of the 2024/25 season, but Havertz's ability to lead the line superbly means the Gunners don't necessarily need the finished product. They could sign a forward with room to develop and grow.

In addition, the club are set to spend big in midfield, although the exact profile they're after isn't yet clear. Arteta will want a multi-faceted option, but their priority target will depend on whether they view Declan Rice as their long-term six or eight.

Cover will be required behind David Raya if Aaron Ramsdale departs as expected, while Bukayo Saka still needs stronger competition. A move for a left-sided defender was explored in January, and Arsenal will likely revisit that possibility this summer despite Jurrien Timber's return from a long-term injury.

Arsenal's confirmed transfer targets

Benjamin Sesko
Benjamin Sesko is Arsenal's priority striker target this summer / Maja Hitij/GettyImages

Arsenal have been linked with an array of forwards, and 21-year-old international Benjamin Sesko appeared to be the one most attainable. But the Slovenian's new RB Leipzig contract has thrown a spanner in the works, meaning the Gunners will need to look elsewhere.

Viktor Gyokeres, Victor Osimhen, and Ivan Toney have been discussed as options, while a move for Newcastle's Alexander Isak appears unlikely. The same goes for midfielder Bruno Guimaraes.

Arsenal have a long-standing interest in Martin Zubimendi and could come in for the Spaniard this summer given their midfield needs. The Spaniard is content at Real Sociedad, though, with the player previously noting his desire to work under Xabi Alonso again. Youssouf Fofana, Amadou Onana and Joao Neves are other names to keep an eye on.

Pedro Neto and Nico Williams have been touted as possibilities should Arsenal attempt to acquire greater depth in wide areas, while young Ajax defender Jorrel Hato remains of interest but he only recently signed a contract extension in the Dutch capital.

Arsenal transfer rumours

Johan Bakayoko
Arsenal have reportedly entered the race for PSV winger Johan Bakayoko / Soccrates Images/GettyImages
  • Arsenal target Johan Bakayoko has admitted he does not know if he will stay at PSV Eindhoven. (Date: 2 July; Source: Football.London)
  • Arsenal have rejected the chance to sign winger Jadon Sancho from Man Utd due to his high wages. (Date: 1 July; Source: TEAMtalk)
  • The Gunners have lodged an enquiry for Bologna centre-back Riccardo Calafiori, who stood out for Italy at Euro 2024. (Date; 1 July; Source: GIVEMESPORT)
  • Arsenal are still interested in Alexander Isak and could match his asking price, but they are expected to prioritise a move for a midfielder. (Date: 30 June; Source: Football Transfers)
  • Arsenal and Tottenham are both looking to sign Adrien Rabiot when his Juventus contract expires at the end of the month. (Date: 29 June; Source: Corriere dello Sport - Italy)
  • Arsenal have made contact with Barcelona over a deal to sign French defender Jules Kounde. The La Liga side are reluctant to do business and are currently waiting to see whether Ronald Araujo will attract any significant offers. (Date: 28 June: Source: Gerard Romero)
  • The Saudi Public Investment Fund have made a move to sign Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey. (Date: 27 June; Source: CaughtOffside)
  • Arsenal have shown an interest in signing Espanyol goalkeeper Joan Garcia, who is also wanted by Real Madrid. (Date: 27 June; Source: Gerard Romero)

Who Arsenal could sell this summer

Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus
Arsenal could listen to offers for Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

Arsenal are unlikely to be as restrained this summer as they were in January, but with Arteta keen to streamline his squad, the Gunners will have to oversee some sort of clear-out.

Veterans Cedric Soares and Mohamed Elneny have already moved on, but there's plenty of work still left to do. Arsenal must consider the futures of returning loanees, with the likes of Kieran Tierney, Nuno Tavares, and Albert Sambi Lokonga unlikely to be retained for 2024/25 and beyond. Permanent sales will be sought.

Emile Smith Rowe is attracting interest and is a player the Gunners could garner a decent fee for. Fellow Hale End graduates Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson are also on the chopping block.

Depending on incomings, Arsenal could also listen to offers for Thomas Partey, Gabriel Jesus, and Oleksandr Zinchenko.