Arsenal targeting up to six summer signings as Mikel Arteta project continues

Jamie Spencer
Arsenal are prepared to back Mikel Arteta in the transfer market again
Arsenal are prepared to back Mikel Arteta in the transfer market again / Malcolm Couzens/GettyImages

Arsenal are expected to target up to six new signings in the summer ahead of next season, with two strikers and a midfielder believed to be the ‘priority’ as the club hierarchy backs Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners have overcome a torrid start to the current campaign to move firmly into strong Champions League contention – they have a one-point cushion and three games in hand over Manchester United in the battle for a top four place.

Arteta has already overseen a major overhaul of the Arsenal squad since being appointed in December 2019, with six first-team signings last summer alone totalling close to £150m.

At the same time, a number of older high-earning players have been let go – including David Luiz, Willian and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with Alexandre Lacazette set to follow when his contract expires at the end of the season. There has also been a renewed focus on making younger players such as Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli core parts of the squad.

The Evening Standard has reported that in addition to prioritising two strikers – to replace Aubameyang and Lacazette – and a midfielder, the Gunners are considering options for a winger, right-back and left-sided centre-back to further boost the squad.

Ultimately, whether Arsenal secure Champions League football for next season will have a significant impact on what budget they will to spend on new recruits. Senior official Josh Kroenke once remarked prior to the Arteta era that the Gunners were funding a Champions League wage bill with a Europa League budget. This season, even a Europa League budget would be a bonus.

As far as potential striker options are concerned, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Alexander Isak and Jonathan David have all been linked with the club for some time already. Darwin Nunez of Benfica is another added to that list, while there has also been interest in Chelsea's Armando Broja.

Further back in midfield, Youri Tielemans, Ruben Neves and Douglas Luiz are on the radar. All three are proven to a good level in the Premier League. 90min revealed as recently as February that Tielemans is still not interested in extending his current Leicester contract beyond 2023.

Wolves, meanwhile, have been open to selling Neves for some time if their asking price in excess of £30m is met. 90min understands that the Portuguese, who played for Porto in the Champions League before a surprise move to England in 2017, is ready to leave Molineux and play for a bigger club.

Manchester United also remain interested in his services, while recent gossip in Spain has linked Barcelona with a possible summer approach. Their preferred target, however, is Franck Kessie.

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