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Arsenal talks to offload trio and gamble on cut-price Barcelona signing

Arsenal are ready to cash in on three of their unwanted stars, amid claims talks are already underway to move the trio on this summer.

The Gunners completed a frustrating season by finishing eighth, just outside the European places. That means Mikel Arteta’s side will start the 2021/22 campaign without European football – the first time that’s happened since 1995/96. As a result, their transfer budget for the summer will be restricted as a result.

It all means technical director Edu and director of football Richard Garlick will have to get creative in efforts to strengthen.

As such, the club are ready to move some players on to try and boost their coffers.

Starting with Germany outlet Kicker, they claim Arsenal defender William Saliba is a surprise transfer target for Bayer Leverkusen.

Saliba joined Arsenal for £27m from St Etienne in summer 2019. However, he loaned back to the Ligue 1 for the duration of that summer.

Having returned to London in summer 2020, he was expected to get his chance under Arteta. However, he failed to make an appearance and was loaned to Nice in January for the remainder of the season.

And while the Gunners have waved goodbye to David Luiz, it appears unlikely that Saliba will play a part.

Instead, Kicker claims Leverkusen are looking to take him to the Bundesliga. It’s reported they want to sign the 20-year-old on an initial loan. However, it’s not clear at this stage whether Arsenal would allow an option to buy within that deal.

The same outlet claims another defender, Konstantinos Mavropanos, finds himself in demand this summer. As per the article, Stuttgart are looking to sign the defender once again this summer following a successful loan at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

However, the outlet reports they will face competition from Lazio, who are also keen on the 23-year-old Greek.

The third Arsenal departure come come in midfield. That’s after La Provence reported that Marseille are pushing forward with efforts to sign Matteo Guendouzi.

Guendouzi joined Arsenal from Lorient in 2018 but fell out of favour when Arteta replaced Unai Emery. After two seasons in north London, the midfielder was sent on loan to Hertha Berlin last summer. But the chances of that move becoming permanent are in doubt.

With Arteta still at the helm, Guendouzi is unlikely to have a future back at the Emirates Stadium. Hence, they must try to sell him before his contract expires in 2022.

Now the French paper claims talks are intensifying over a move to Marseille. He will likely be allowed to move for a fee of around €12m.

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Arsenal to gamble on Coutinho

It’s also reported that finding a replacement for Martin Odegaard will be one of Arsenal’s main aims this summer.

The Norwegian impressed while on loan from Real Madrid during the second half of the season. However, Zinedine Zidane’s departure as coach at the Bernabeu means he will likely get a new chance to impress in LaLiga next season.

That decreases Arsenal’s chances of securing Odegaard to a permanent deal. So instead, they are looking at a number of alternatives.

The No 1 aim of Garlick is reported to be Norwich’s Emiliano Buendia. However, with a £40m price tag, that may yet prove too steep for the Gunners.

Instead, Sky Sports believes Arsenal are still lurking around Philippe Coutinho. He will be one of 10 high-profile departures at the Nou Camp this summer.

And it’s reported Barca are willing to negotiate a lowly fee to take the Brazilian off their books.

While he is yet to recapture his form of his Liverpool days, he showed flashes of his old self during a loan at Bayern Munich in 2019/20.

It’s reported he could leave on an initial loan, with an option to buy for €40m – €50m. That deal might suit Arsenal and it’s reported they could be ready to gamble on his signing.

READ MOREArsenal ahead of ‘several’ UK clubs in hunt for £50m-plus star Edu target


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