Mikel Arteta has said Arsenal have reached a “crucial moment” in the transfer window that could shape their season but insisted he has the full backing of the club’s owners over their transfer strategy.
Arsenal are set for a frantic end to the summer transfer window as they attempt to tie down a deal for at least one midfielder in addition to offloading several fringe players to correct an imbalanced squad.
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“I think it is a crucial moment because the end defines the people, the players, the balance and the quality that you are going to have, probably, for the rest of the season,” Arteta said at a news conference on Friday.
“So, we need to make some decisions in the next three days. I think everything has been delayed so much. It is not only us but also probably every team because of the context we are in at the moment. But we will try to make the best possible decisions and at the end whatever we have, we go for it fully convinced and prepared to have a good season.”
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Arsenal have been pursuing a deal with Lyon for Houssem Aouar but the two clubs remains a considerable distance apart in their respective valuations of the 22-year-old with the Ligue 1 club continuing to hold out for €60 million.
Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey is Arteta’s other main target but the Gunners are unwilling to meet his €50m buy-out clause given an urgent need to sell players to raise funds.
“The way we are acting and the way we are approaching and the way we are doing the process around the market, around the squad, the communication and link we have between myself, Edu, the board and the ownership is really good,” Arteta said.
“I am really satisfied. I know that we are all trying our best to improve the team and trying to take the direction to achieve the goals that we want. After to achieve it or not, sometimes in a deal a lot of things can happen. You have three or four parties that have to be involved, but we are trying our best. I am really happy the way this link and communication is flowing at the moment.”
Lucas Torreira is set to join Atletico on a season-long loan while the club are hopeful of finding buyers for Matteo Guendouzi, Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil before Monday’s deadline.
After head of football Raul Sanllehi left his post abruptly in August, Arteta has driven the club’s recruitment plan alongside technical director Edu.
“[If no player comes in] it is because we can’t do more. We are trying our maximum. We are maximising our resources, with full support from the owners as well with what we are trying to achieve. It is whether we can do it or not,” Arteta added.
“What we have, believe me, we will try our best. We will have the players, trying to give them the best possible environment, the best possible coaching and have them believing we can achieve what we want to do. If it will be with one more player, two more players, or two players less, we will keep doing the same.”
Arsenal have signed Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille for £23m, Willian and Cedric Soares on free transfers in addition to making Pablo Mari’s temporary move from Flamengo permanent and re-signing Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid on a season-long loan.
The club are willing to loan William Saliba, who is yet to play for the club following his £27m move from Saint-Etienne, with Rennes interested in bringing the defender back to France.
The club also announced 55 non-playing staff would lose their jobs as they felt the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, adding even greater pressure on Arsenal to act shrewdly in the market.