Arsenal’s coffers should be swelled by a return to the Champions League but with fringe players looking for more game time and lots of deadwood still on the books, there’s real potential to reset our reputation as a poor selling club.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles has confirmed that he’ll be leaving Arsenal on a free and we already know that Pablo Mari will complete a move to AC Monza after they secured their Serie A status for another year.
In the coming days, it’s also expected that Granit Xhaka will draw the curtain on seven seasons as a Gunner to sign for Bayer Leverkusen in a deal worth £13 million.
But what else could happen? We take a look…
[Remember, more poos means we’re less convinced by the rumour / exit]
Writing in the Mirror, John Cross suggests that clubs in Italy are weighing up a move for the Ghana international. Integral to Arsenal’s midfield in the first half of the season, the midfielder’s form fell off a cliff in the closing months amidst concerns about his fitness. He turns 30 in a couple of weeks’ time (until then he’s 29, that’s how it works), so he’s no spring chicken and with two years left on his contract this would be the optimal time to try and claw back some of the original €50 million outlay. That said, can we afford to let both Partey and Xhaka leave in the same window? Seems risky.
Once appreciated and now underused, the Scotland international has long been linked with a move to Newcastle United and they remain the frontrunner to sign him. There were also some spurious links with Manchester City but they only surfaced after Arsenal were said to be interested in Joao Cancelo. A swap deal with the Blues was mooted by some no-marks and that is clearly not going to happen. The Scottish media seem to think Celtic have a sell-on clause, so we’ll also have to take that into consideration.
Out of contract this summer, it’s said the winger has so far rebuffed Arsenal’s attempts to get him to stay. Brighton were linked a while back but in recent days it’s AC Milan who appear the most interested in taking the player on a free. They’ve also been linked with Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek and already have England international Fikayo Tomori on the books. Is any of that relevant? Probably not. Fabrizio Romano claims sides in France have also contacted our man.
Having hit 21 goals in 37 appearances for Ligue 1 outfit Reims and with the USA trumpeting his high-profile international allegiance switch, Balogun is very much in the spotlight at the moment. Unsurprisingly, clubs across Europe are sounding him out about a summer move knowing Arsenal might struggle to offer him the minutes he needs to develop. Again, AC Milan have been mentioned as a destination.
Links with newly-promoted Burnley can be directly attributed to Sambi’s working relationship with Clarets’ boss Vincent Kompany who was briefly in charge at Anderlecht. The former Manchester City captain is on record saying how much he rates the 23-year-old although he’s yet to prove he’s worthy of such praise. The Belgian was hoping to build his confidence on loan at Crystal Palace but his game time has been limited since Patrick Vieira was sacked and Roy Hodgson took over. He’s only played 70 minutes for the Eagles since January. Sevilla are the other side thought to be sniffing around.
Voted Birmingham City’s player of the season by fans, the American returns to Arsenal with a feather in his cap and a full year of Championship experience under his belt. The Scottish Sun have reported that SPL giants Rangers want to sign the centre-back.
There are a host of other players who Edu has placed on the market, including Nicolas Pepe, Alex Runarsson, Cedric Soares, Nuno Tavares and Charlie Patino. Speculation about where they might end up has been thin on the ground so far. Emile Smith Rowe and Rob Holding could also leave if the right offer comes in.
If you own a football club and have some spare cash, don’t be shy…