Mikel Arteta says technical director Edu is on alert during the transfer window as Arsenal look to strengthen the squad to ensure a strong end to the season.
The Gunners have known for some time that January could prove challenging with four first team players away at the African Cup of Nations, however, with Covid-19 still causing issues and player contracts coming to an end, the boss is all the more desperate for reinforcements.
In light of Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ loan move to AS Roma, the midfield is an area that needs particular attention while a host of strikers, including Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic and Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak, have been tipped to make the move to the Emirates with question marks hanging over the futures of Alex Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Eddie Nketiah.
“I think with the amount of things [we want to do] and the way we want to evolve the squad, we have to maximise every window in many different ways,” Arteta told the press ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup clash with Nottingham Forest.
“We are alert, Edu and his team are working very hard because we know exactly what we need to do and whether we can accomplish that in January or the summer is a different question and is related to other stuff. But we’re there.”
Usually quite coy about anything transfer related, the boss was also quite bullish about the prospect of spending big money in January.
“I”f it’s the right player and we can afford it and we can do what we want to do, we will discuss it and make the best possible decision, we are open.”
One player who won’t be joining the club is Jack Wilshere. Training with the club for several months to build-up his fitness, the ex-Gunner and current free agent is still not being considered as a solution to Arsenal’s shortage of options in the centre of midfield.
“I think I was very clear with the situation on Jack and the role that he was going to have being around here,” said Arteta when asked if Wilshere would be offered a contract.
“We’re continuing the same way.”