Speculation is rife regarding transfer targets and it appears that work is ongoing behind the scenes at Arsenal in that respect. However, the next seven days are crucial and Arsenal will need to secure the players on their radar or run with what they already have for the rest of the season.
Under the current circumstances, any additions would have to self-isolate and then, integrate into the squad and prove their fitness, which means they won’t be available for up to a month. Arteta will want those players as soon as possible to allow him to consider his options for various opponents and to allow for the inevitable crop of injuries.
A glance at the existing group of players shows that they have the numbers, but not necessarily the quality to compete for a top-four finish, and as good as Arteta, undoubtedly, is as a coach, the big games will test his resources to the max.
Edu will need to push deals through to sell Martinez, Bellerin (if he’s going), and Guendouzi to release funds of around £70m. That’s a conservative estimate based on what the current information suggests they are worth.
That would be enough to secure the likes of Houssem Aouar and Thomas Partey with just a small but manageable shortfall on the books. Time, indeed, is of the great essence and if invisible Stan Kroenke is going to back his man, he needs to act swiftly to acquire those transfer targets or Arsenal might miss out on the Champions League for another year.
I’m told that discussions are still ongoing with Lyon and Atletico Madrid, but unless the figures are agreed, all the preliminary work could be for nothing. It’s now a waiting game as we approach the end of the transfer window.