Mikel Arteta is clearly trusted by the Arsenal hierarchy to spend big, as last summer’s transfer window proved with the Gunners bringing in six new faces for a combined fee of £140million.
What the North London outfit are rumoured to have in the works this time around however, makes last year’s efforts look small-time. After missing out on Champions League qualification in the final stages of last season – to their most fierce rivals Spurs no less, Arteta is wasting little time in trying to rectify the errors of last term.
Arsenal already made one purchase within a week of the window opening, but it came in the form of Sao Paulo wonderkid Marquinhos. While there are plenty of reasons to be excited about the Brazilian teenager, he is unlikely to play a huge role in the Gunners first-team right away.
Arteta then took fans and pundits alike by surprise as news broke that Arsenal are on the verge of completing a £30million move for FC Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira. The Portugal Under-21 international was the most prolific playmaker in the whole of Liga Nos last season, with 14 assists to his name in the league alone.
Though that deal is yet to be officially confirmed by his new club, it would seem it is as good as done with Vieira already in London and undergoing his medical. But Arsenal are not stopping there, not even close.
Next up in Arteta’s sights is a deal for Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus, whom the Gunners boss knows very well from his time as an assistant to Pep Guardiola at the Etihad. There is no such thing as ‘mates’ rates’ in elite football however, and City are still holding out for Arteta’s Arsenal to pay the £50m asking price for the Brazilian.
Arsenal’s desperation for a striker is well-documented, particularly given the recent departure of Alexandre Lacazette. The move for Jesus very much feels like a case of when, rather than if, from a Gunners perspective after their opening bid was rejected – but they should still be wary of late interest from other suitors.
Remaining in the world of Premier League talent, Arteta is thought to be a huge admirer of Leicester City midfielder maestro Youri Tielemans. The Belgium international has just one year left on his current contract at the King Power as a result, Arsenal are hoping to secure his signature for a cut-price fee.
With that being said, the Foxes are seemingly in no real rush to say and have not budged from their original £45m valuation of the 25-year-old. The Athletic report that Arsenal are trying to move on current central midfielder Granit Xhaka before they sanction the signing of Tielemans.
Who is Fabio Vieira? Arsenal land Porto midfielder as second summer signing
The most expensive addition of the whole window could be Leeds United talisman Raphinha. The winger is highly thought of by the Gunners hierarchy and would join a growing Brazilian contingent within the current crop of Arsenal stars.
This is arguably the most complicated deal to get over the line this summer. Arsenal will not sign the Elland Road fan-favourite unless they can shift Nicolas Pepe elsewhere and while the Ivorian is equally keen to leave, selling him for a price the Gunners deem fair could prove a more difficult task than many anticipate.
Leeds boss Jesse Marsch is expected to not permit Raphinha’s departure for anything less than £60m. Arteta is hoping that a large portion of that fee would be generated from the sale of Pepe.
The final piece of business Arsenal are hoping to finalise before the window’s close is a move for Ajax central-defender Lisandro Martinez. The Gunners have already seen a £30m bid rejected by the Dutch giants but that has not deterred them.
Martinez is thought to be in favour of moving to North London which strengthens Arsenal’s negotiating position, but the Argentina international is tied to the Amsterdam arena until the summer of 2025.
Were Arsenal to secure all of the aforementioned players, it would undeniably put them in a fantastic position to finally end their six-year-and-counting self-inflicted hiatus from European football’s most elite club competition – but it will cost them quite the fee, £215m to be precise.