Arsenal to fund summer transfer spree by putting 10 first team players up for sale

Mikel Arteta is undertaking a massive overhaul of his Arsenal squad
Mikel Arteta is undertaking a massive overhaul of his Arsenal squad (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal are looking to fund their summer recruitment drive by selling as many as 10 first team squad players with the FA Cup winners also conscious of the need to cut their wage bill.

Mikel Arteta’s first half season in charge culminated in an FA Cup final triumph over Chelsea which sealed Arsenal’s place in the Europa League next season, but the Spaniard has acknowledged that his squad is still some way short of the quality required to challenge the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.

The Gunners have already added Willian to their ranks this summer and are closing in on a deal for Lille centre-half Gabriel, who is said to have undertaken a medical ahead of official confirmation of his arrival.

William Saliba has returned from his loan spell at Saint-Etienne and will compete for a first team spot, while David Luiz, as well as January loan recruits, Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari, have all committed their futures to the north London club.

It is anticipated that skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future will be resolved in the coming days with last season’s top goalscorer ready to end months of speculation by signing a new three-year deal.

Gabriel is expected to complete his move to Arsenal after undergoing a medical
Gabriel is expected to complete his move to Arsenal after undergoing a medical (Picture: Getty)

A lack of Champions League and matchday revenue, however, has forced Arsenal to consider ways of balancing the books, however. The club has already confirmed its intention to make 55 redundancies, while Raul Sanllehi vacated his position as head of football last week and technical director Edu continues to oversee a major overhaul of the scouting department.

Sanllehi’s departure has resulted in Arteta assuming greater control over Arsenal’s transfer dealings and the former club captain is striving to create a more balanced squad.

According to The Times, the 38-year old is willing to sanction the departures of four central defenders, four midfielders and two fowards. English duo Rob Holding and Calum Chambers are likely to be deemed surplus to requirements, with the latter attracting attention from Fulham.

The 10 players who could leave Arsenal this summer

Rob Holding
Calum Chambers
Sokratis Papastathopoulos
Shkodran Mustafi

Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Lucas Torreira
Matteo Guendouzi
Mohamed Elneny

Alexandre Lacazette
Reiss Nelson

Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who is in the final year of his contract, is wanted by Napoli and Shkodran Mustafi could also be allowed to leave despite his improvement under Arteta.

The versatile Ainsley Maitland-Niles could represent a surprise casualty of a midfield overhaul, especially given his performances in Wembley wins over City and Chelsea when he excelled at wing-back.

Spurs are willing to test the waters with a reported £30million bid, while Arsenal are exploring the option of a players plus cash swap deal involving the exiled Matteo Guendouzi and Lyon’s gifted midfield technician Houssem Aouar.

Mohamed Elneny will be sold this summer having spent last season out on loan, while Lucas Torreira could return to Serie A amid interest from Roma and AC Milan.

Aubameyang’s strike partner and close friend Alexandre Lacazette is said to be interesting Juventus, meanwhile, and England Under-21 international Reiss Nelson, whose chances of regular first team football have decreased following the arrival of Willian, could command a transfer fee upwards of £15million.

Arsenal would happily entertain offers for Mesut Ozil whose £350,000-a-week contract remains a huge burden on the club, but the former Real Madrid star recently underlined his intention to see out the remaining 12 months of his current deal and won’t be sold against his will.

MORE: ‘Hopefully great news’ – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang teases Arsenal fans ahead of contract announcement

MORE: Willian insists he wanted Chelsea to win FA Cup final despite imminent Arsenal transfer

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