Exclusive – Arsenal are considering the signings of three potential free agents in the summer transfer window, with doubts remaining over the size of their transfer budget.
It has become commonplace in recent seasons for the words ‘Arsenal’ and ‘limited funds’ to crop up in the same sentence.
No matter how excited much of the fanbase is with the renewed sense of optimism Mikel Arteta has instilled since taking the reins, a lack of Champions League football for two, likely three, seasons has restricted the club’s ambition and ability to compete in the transfer market.
As a result, the Gunners are keeping track of eventual free agents.
A source has told 90min that previous links to Ryan Fraser have not dissipated, and the Scotsman remains a target with his AFC Bournemouth deal running out when the season closes.
The same applies to Chelsea’s Willian, who is at a stalemate with his current employers as they’re unwilling to offer the Brazilian the three-year deal he desires to extend his stay beyond the current campaign. Their chances could increase as it is no secret Willian wishes to remain in the capital, though rivals Tottenham’s interest has also been established.
Another player the club continue to monitor is Layvin Kurzawa of Paris Saint-Germain. A deal for the defender looked destined to take place back in January, but Arsenal pulled the plug on the move to instead hold off until the summer when his contract runs out.
Much of the talk surrounding the club over recent months has centred around players leaving, with the strains of no elite European football significantly impacting plans for an Arteta-inspired rebuild.
Due to such tight purse strings, player sales may have to be factored in if they are to reinforce beyond free acquisitions.
Reports linking star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with a move away from the club have been ever-present since last summer, with the once discounted suggestions gathering more momentum as the club seek additional funding.
With Barcelona, Chelsea and Real Madrid all hovering around the Gabonese striker, it is understood that Arsenal could be open to selling last campaign’s joint-Golden Boot winner should a suitable offer come in.
Aubameyang’s deal in north London expires in the summer of 2021, and while the Gunners would not like to lose their captain and talisman, it may be a case of needs must if they can earn a decent fee for a player who turns 31 in June. The club are keen to avoid a repeat of the situation around Aaron Ramsey, who left for nothing last summer.
Sales of other players may also be considered should suitable offers come in. 18-year-old Gabriel Martinelli has been the bright spark in an otherwise dismal campaign, but Arsenal would consider bids for the player were they to be deemed too good to refuse.