Arsenal are set to let a raft of first-teamers leave the Emirates Stadium, as they plan for life in the Champions League.
The Gunners are fighting for the title, finding themselves eight points clear of rivals Manchester City in second with 10 matches remaining. With this improved season, Arsenal will likely qualify for the Champions League next term and though Arteta has a core of regulars he’s leant on all season, others’ future at the club is less certain.
With the Gunners set to spend big on Declan Rice, too, there may be high-profile exits from the club.
The Sun (opens in new tab) are claiming that a whole host of players will be jettisoned, with the most notable being club-record signing Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian has been on loan at Nice this season, though his £140,000-a-week wages may be a sticking point in finding a new employer.
Other loanees, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Alex Runarsson, Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari are likely to all be up for sale, too. Mari is obligated to join Monza for around £5 million if the Serie A outfit avoid relegation – and they are 15 points clear with 11 fixtures left to play. Lokonga could fetch £20-30m, as the most valuable asset out on loan.
The report states that Arteta has “uncertainty” over the likes of Kieran Tierney and Rob Holding, who have both featured less this season – while academy graduate Folarin Balogun may want to leave to pursue game time elsewhere, following a storming season at Reims in Ligue 1. Tierney may be worth around the £25m Arsenal paid for him, Holding around £10m and Balogun up to £40m, following his stellar form in France.
More worryingly for Arsenal, football.london (opens in new tab) have suggested that fan favourite Emile Smith Rowe may be sacrificed after a year of injury issues. The No.10 was imperative in returning the Gunners to the Europa League but has struggled to re-establish himself this season. Smith Rowe is valued at around €38m on Transfermarkt (opens in new tab) – around £35m.
Finally, the addition of Declan Rice would most likely spell an exit for either Thomas Partey or Jorginho, Arsenal’s two first-choice No.6s in midfield. Jorginho only arrived in January on an 18-month contract.
As a conservative estimate, Arsenal could fetch at least £125m, should they sell every one of these players – putting them in the market for some huge moves this summer.
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The rumour mill is going into overdrive with Arsenal leading the way in the race to sign Declan Rice. One source claims a contract has been agreed with the midfielder, though Manchester City are interested, too. West Ham apparently have a successor lined up.
In other rumours, Raheem Sterling is being targeted, with a centre-forward on the wishlist, according to reports. A bid for Raphinha has been revealed while Rasmus Holjund of Atalanta is on the radar, too. January target Ivan Fresneda is still wanted by the Gunners, as well.
Meanwhile, Chelsea star Mykhaylo Mudryk – who turned down Arsenal in the winter window – has addressed his supposed unhappiness at Stamford Bridge.