Mikel Arteta says he’s confident he can convince transfer targets to join the club this summer, even if we don’t have European football, or if we’re scratching around the Europa Conference League.
Arsenal have plenty to sort out when the transfer window opens, both in terms of incoming deals and departures, and even though there are obvious financial restrictions to contend with, another one is the somewhat diminished reputation after some difficult seasons.
Many players on the market will have potentially more attractive options, but the Spaniard is certain that he could persuade targets that Arsenal was the right place for them.
“I’d need an hour to do that but I think I could convince them!” he quipped ahead of the final league game of the season against Brighton on Sunday.
“And we have been able to convince them to come here rather than somewhere else. I think just looking at this badge, the history and who we are, that should be enough.
“If they need something else, we are prepared to do that.”
The timing of the summer business, and while Arteta is hoping to get as much as done as soon as possible, there are still many factors which may delay things. Players need holidays after a gruelling 12 months; some will be away with the European Championships; and there are also the European U21 Championships and the Copa America to take into account.
However, there’s no question Arteta is keen to avoid the kind of deadline day arrivals which, while it bring us a quality player in Thomas Partey, wasn’t exactly a sign of a well-planned transfer strategy.
“It would be ideal to do everything as early as possible and to have all the players that we know are going to continue here for the first day of pre-season but it’s not going to happen,” said Arteta.
“We have the Euros and everything is going to be delayed, we have that many things that need to be done that it will take time.
“But we know how key it can be and what we don’t want is to have is the situation that happened last year.”
At the moment the manager is playing his cards very close to his chest, insisting that any player under contract will be with us next season, but he did acknowledge that some difficult conversations have already taken place with certain members of the squad.
“We have a lot of conversations that have already happened and some more that will happen,” he said.
“Difficult or not, we have to face them to be able to tell each other what our feelings are and to make the right decisions.”