Arsenal finally got their first signing of the summer transfer window over the line on Saturday, securing the services of Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares in a deal worth around £8million.
Signing a left-back has been a long-term priority for the Gunners and they were determined to find somebody capable of challenging Kieran Tierney for the role this summer.
On completing the signing of Tavares, manager Mikel Arteta, who will watch his Gunners side face Hibernian in their first pre-season outing this evening, said: “He is a young player with great promise who has developed very well with Benfica in recent seasons and has also shown his quality by being part of Portugal Under-21s.
“Nuno’s arrival will give the squad extra strength and options in defence, particularly with this energy on the left side of the pitch.”
Whilst Tavares has become the club’s first addition of this summer, departures have been far more frequent, with the total number of senior players leaving the club so far this summer, excluding those released at the end of their contracts, now standing at eight, with Matteo Guendouzi and Daniel Ballard amongst those having most recently left the club.
However, that tally is soon set to increase with the impending departure of talented central defender William Saliba.
The Frenchman is on the brink of joining Ligue 1 outfit Marseille on a season-long loan deal, meaning this will be the third season in succession that he has spent time away from the Emirates Stadium, despite Arteta admitting several months ago that he would get a chance to prove his worth during this pre-season campaign.
But whilst it has been well documented that a deal is edging closer and closer towards being completed, Saliba’s agent – Niang Djibril – has taken to Instagram to crank up the speculation by uploading a video of him onboard a flight.
The video consists of him panning the camera around a private jet with somebody sat to his left, potentially Saliba. He has captioned the video with a plane emoji, highlighting that he is en route somewhere, understood to be Marseille.
Should the deal get done without any late snags, it could soon be officially announced, meaning Saliba will have sorted out his short-term future ahead of the new season getting underway.
Saliba’s impending exit means that Arsenal will be hoping to wrap up a deal for Brighton & Hove Albion centre-back Ben White as soon as possible. The Gunners are optimistic about landing the former Leeds United loanee, but no deal between themselves and Brighton has yet been finalised.
The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.
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It is understood that the Gunners hope to secure his signature for around £50million.
However, with Saliba poised to leave and the arrival of White not yet completed, Arteta has three out-and-out central defenders within his senior squad, but Calum Chambers can move across if required and Omar Rekik will no doubt be looking to make the jump to the first team in the not too distant future.