A summer fire sale is underway at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal look to raise £100million by trimming as many as nine players from Mikel Arteta’s squad.
The Gunners have sought to strengthen this summer having pushed Manchester City close in last season’s Premier League title race.
They have splashed out £105m on Declan Rice, £65m on Kai Havertz and £36.5m on Jurrien Timber in the hope they can end a two-decade wait for the league title.
So far, their headline departure has been former captain Granit Xhaka, who moved to Bayer Leverkusen for £21.4m, with the sales of Pablo Mari, Matt Turner and Anton Trusty also swelling the coffers slightly.
But more players deemed surplus to requirements are likely to follow them out of the door before the transfer window shuts on September 1.
Up to nine players could be trimmed from Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal squad before the deadline
Arsenal have started the season with two Premier League wins from their opening two games
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It isn’t that Arsenal are feeling the heat with Financial Fair Play rules like some of their rivals – club revenue streams have risen significantly to offset big spending in recent years, and they’re now back in the lucrative Champions League too.
Indeed, any funds raised could well be reinvested right away with cover at centre-back a priority after Timber’s ACL injury. Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi is a defender admired by the Gunners.
We take a closer look at the players who could be moved on to facilitate this in the final days of the window.
Age 22, striker, 10 first-team appearances
No supporter likes to see a talented academy product leave but Arsenal believe they can get £50m for Balogun, a player who has spent the past season-and-a-half out on loan.
The 22-year-old striker has spent part of the summer away from first-team training and hasn’t featured in Mikel Arteta’s match-day squad so far this season.
Balogun spent last season on loan at Ligue 1 club Reims and impressed by scoring 22 times in 39 matches. Prior to that he spent time at Middlesbrough.
Chelsea, West Ham and Tottenham have all enquired after Balogun this summer but it’s French club Monaco rather than these Premier League rivals who have shown the most interest in the United States international.
Arsenal anticipate an improved offer from Monaco by the end of the week, closer to their asking price.
Arsenal believe they can get £50million for academy graduate Folarin Balogun
25, centre-back, 121 appearances
Question marks have been raised about the Brazilian’s Arsenal future after Arteta left him out the starting XI for the wins over Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace that have opened the campaign.
Ben White has been favoured alongside William Saliba, with Gabriel, who started all 38 Premier League matches last season, restricted to late cameos off the bench.
Gabriel has been linked to Real Madrid, who need a replacement for the long-term injury absentee Eder Militao, and a host of rich Saudi Arabian clubs.
He is likely to stay given the four years remaining on his contract and the Timber situation but there’s a small chance Arsenal would consider letting the centre back leave if they could find an upgrade on him.
Gabriel Magalhaes could be an unexpected departure – but only if Arsenal find an upgrade
26, left back/centre back, 124 appearances
Scotland international Tierney has been a target for Newcastle, Aston Villa and Real Sociedad this summer, while a return to old club Celtic has also been mooted.
He has been left out of both matchday squads for Premier League games so far this season, having started only a handful last season following the arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Tierney will definitely wish for more game time with an eye on Scotland’s likely qualification for Euro 2024 but any deal needs to be wrapped up sharpish.
Kieran Tierney could depart in search of greater game time away from the Gunners
24, full back/centre back, 55 appearances
Crystal Palace have shown an interest in the versatile Japan defender this summer.
He played a bit-part role in various positions across the back line last season before missing the final weeks of the campaign to undergo knee surgery.
Tomiyasu has started this season by getting himself sent off against Palace on Monday but Timber’s own injury setback means Arsenal are less likely to countenance selling him.
Takehiro Tomiyasu was sent off against Crystal Palace, the club that is interested in him
Albert Sambi Lokonga
23, midfielder, 39 appearances
Brighton have turned their attention to Sambi Lokonga as they look to replenish their midfield options following the departures of Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister.
The Seagulls wish to bring the Belgian to the Amex on loan initially but Arsenal may push a full sale of a player who spent the second-half of last season at Crystal Palace.
Although Sambi Lokonga cost the Gunners £15m when he joined two years ago, he has never looked likely to nail down a regular spot and he doesn’t feature in Arteta’s plans this time.
Albert Sambi Lokonga on a rare appearance for Arsenal in last season’s Europa League
27, centre back, 162 appearances
Another player Arsenal would listen to offers for, as Mail Sport reported on Wednesday. Holding is likely to be some way down the defensive pecking order this season.
The 27-year-old featured mainly in the Europa League and domestic cup competitions last season, with Premier League game time only coming his way after William Saliba’s injury blow.
Reports in France this week have said there is interest in Holding from Turkish club Besiktas.
Rob Holding in action during the Gunners’ pre-season tour match against Barcelona
31, full back, 59 appearances
Another player you’d be forgiven for forgetting about after he spent the latter part of last season on loan at Fulham.
Even there, Soares completed just a couple of games and we’ve yet to see him in this campaign.
Reports earlier in the summer suggested Villarreal were interested in signing him, having tried back in January, and the ‘big three’ of Benfica, Porto and Sporting Lisbon in his Portuguese homeland have been linked too.
Now is the time for a firm offer if a move is going to happen.
Cedric Soares spent the second half of last season on loan at Fulham after being surplus
28, right winger/forward, 112 appearances
Pepe has scored 27 goals and contributed 21 assists in his 112 Arsenal appearances. Not too bad if it wasn’t for the fact he cost them a whopping £72m back in 2019.
Viewed as a truly exciting talent when he arrived, the Ivorian really hasn’t scaled the heights and now appears to be the time to cut losses after he spent last season on loan at Nice.
Bukayo Saka has his main position locked down and even if he hadn’t been injured, it’s unlikely Arteta would have utilised Pepe much in pre-season.
There have been links to Besiktas in the past and now there’s interest from Saudi Arabia as he enters the final 12 months of his contract.
Arsenal spent £72million on Nicolas Pepe but he has proved to be a disappointment
23, left back, 28 appearances
Aston Villa are leading the way when it comes to signing Tavares, with Unai Emery looking for further defensive cover.
Tavares spent last season on loan at Marseille, where he did pretty well, but there appears to be no role for him at Arsenal, having been signed from Benfica just two years ago.
Nuno Tavares has been linked with a move to Aston Villa after Arsenal said he could depart
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