Mikel Arteta says Arsenal are doing everything they can to maximise their resources in the transfer market and are still hopeful of getting deals, both incoming and outgoing, done by tomorrow’s 11pm deadline.
The Gunners have been looking to reinforce their midfield throughout the summer and have been repeatedly linked with Lyon’s Houssem Aouar and Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey but it’s become increasingly clear that deals can only be funded if current players are moved on.
The Gunners raised £20 million selling goalkeeper Emi Martinez to Aston Villa and are set to sanction a loan move for Lucas Torreira but they have struggled to move on other squad players, including Matteo Guendouzi, Sokratis and Sead Kolasinac.
Having called on the club’s upper echelons to speculate to accumulate in their quest for Champions League football, the boss maintains that he still has the support of those above him, no matter what happens in the next 24 hours.
“Believe me, that the ownership, the board, Edu and myself are doing everything we can to maximise the resources we have to improve the team, and sustain and keep the players that are in this club, to make this club successful.
“I have 100 per cent backing from them and it is not just words, this is reality. And whoever knows me, if it wasn’t like that I would not say that. I say it because I feel it and it is true.
“Whatever we can do, whether it is ourselves or the owners, they are willing to do it to support us, to back us, because I feel they believe in what we are trying to do.
“I am confident that we know exactly what we want to do, that we are all trying our best to finalise the deals that we want – whether it is sending people on loan or bringing someone in.
“We have complete connection and cohesion between myself, Edu, the board and the ownership. Let’s see what happens in the next 36 hours.
“I cannot comment unfortunately right now [on specific deals]. There are things going on behind the scenes. At the moment there is nothing definite.”
Judging by reports out of France yesterday, a deal for Aouar seems to be off the table and we’re well aware that Atletico will not sell Partey unless we offer the player’s €50 million release clause. Links with alternatives are few and far between right now, which suggests many eggs are in not many baskets.
Given the circumstances, it’s unsurprising that Arteta refused to guarantee new faces.
“Well I don’t know,” he said. “What I can guarantee is that we are doing our maximum. Whether we are going to achieve it or not I don’t know.
“I cannot discuss the players that we want, but we recognise certain positions that we believe we are sure – first of all numbers and then adding different qualities to compliment each other. This is what we are trying to do.”