It has been a busy few days of transfer activity at the Emirates Stadium – but not quite in the way that many Arsenal supporters would have envisioned it.
That is because the Gunners, who face Scottish outfit Hibernian in their first pre-season friendly in a week’s time, are yet to make their first signing of this summer’s transfer window, despite manager Mikel Arteta being determined to change the landscape of his squad.
Departures have been the dominant topic of Arsenal’s transfer activity in the last week or so, with Daniel Ballard, Matt Smith and Matteo Guendouzi all sealing exits. Ballard and Smith have gone out on loan, joining Millwall and Doncaster Rovers respectively, whilst Guendouzi has sealed a move to Marseille, also on loan, although it is possible that his move to the French club could become permanent next summer.
But with the number of departures beginning to rise, Arsenal’s supporters will soon be hoping that the number of new additions will also begin to increase, with the club desperate to add reinforcements to the squad ahead of the start of the new season.
Whilst Guendouzi, Smith and Ballard have been Arsenal’s most recent departures, the number of summer exits, excluding those who were released at the end of their contracts, now stands at 13, with Mark McGuinness, who has joined Cardiff City, and Konstantinos Mavropanos among the other leavers.
However, whilst Arsenal have certainly cut down the size of their squad so far this summer, more trimming needs to be done if they are to raise the funds required to bring in big-name additions.
The likes of Granit Xhaka, who is poised to join Italian giants Roma, Hector Bellerin, Lucas Torreira, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Alexandre Lacazette are among those at risk of leaving the Emirates Stadium, all of whom would bring in sizeable transfer fees.
Premier League supporters were welcomed back to grounds across the country towards the end of last season and hope reigns eternal that the 2021/22 season will go by without disruptions.
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However, the Gunners will not be completely dependent on those aforementioned names leaving before they can get their first signing through the door. That is because the club is hopeful of getting three deals over the line before too long.
It has been well documented in the last few days that the club is closing in on the signings of Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares and Anderlecht midfield ace Albert Sambi Lokonga. It is understood that Tavares, who is already in London self-isolating following his arrival from Portugal, will join the club for around £8million, whilst Sambi Lokonga is poised to join the club for around £17million, but the situation with the add-ons is yet to be ironed out completely.
Should all go to plan, those two will become Arteta’s first signings of the summer and the next two deals that get over the line.
However, there is still a strong sense of confidence within the Emirates Stadium that they can win the race to sign Brighton & Hove Albion defender Ben White. The Gunners have been tracking White for several weeks and after seeing an early offer knocked back, they now believe they can strike a deal with the Seagulls.
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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Everton and Manchester City are among those to have been closely linked with hijacking the Gunners’ move for the former Leeds United loanee, but football.london understands that the deal is almost complete and that it could be wrapped up once Euro 2020 draws to a close later this week.
With that in mind, the Gunners could soon be completing a triple signing, with all three deals heading in the right direction, certainly in regards to Tavares and Sambi Lokonga. The White deal could cost Arsenal around £50million, but there is a feeling that they will have just enough to win the race for his signature over their Premier League counterparts.