I know there’s the small matter of a North London Derby which could see Arsenal qualify for the Champions League on Thursday, but in an attempt to calm the nerves and distract ourselves, another look ahead to the summer certainly won’t hurt in the meantime.
Okay, so where we end up finishing this season could play a part in who the club is able to attract, granted. However, I think the ambition will remain the same, and that’s to acquire top talent. Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu have both been quite clear that it’s time to raise the bar over the coming months.
When asked how this summer compares to last year, Arteta said: “More important. I think now is the moment we have to go to a different level.” In addition to the Spaniard’s comments, Edu hinted that plans were in place to add one or two ‘top quality’ players when speaking to ESPN Brasil a few weeks back.
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Arteta also said that the club’s ability to find a “much better” balance in both the squad and financial departments enables them to “raise the quality.”
The Gunners have been linked with a host of names that can certainly do just that, and talks are said to be ongoing with the representatives of Gabriel Jesus and Youri Tielemans, according to various reports. However, could another Manchester City star potentially join Jesus in north London? It seems as if it can’t be ruled out.
That’s because The Telegraph is reporting that Arsenal are ready to explore a move for Raheem Sterling should he become available this summer. The 27-year-old will have just one year remaining on his deal at the end of June, opening up the door for a potential move away.
The report adds that Arteta could make Sterling a ‘focal point’ of Arsenal’s frontline, although the move is believed to be dependent on Champions League qualification. Despite that, it will be interesting to see if Erling Haaland’s arrival at the Etihad next season will have an impact.
Manchester City confirmed on Tuesday that an agreement in principle had been reached with Borussia Dortmund for the transfer of Haaland, which will officially take place on July 1st. Jesus is likely to be impacted the most by this move due to the fact that he is the only other centre-forward at the club, although Sterling’s game time could also be affected after playing in a central role on seven occasions this season.
A move to Arsenal would enable both players to become crucial assets in their respective positions. Sterling would be a starter at left-wing, while Jesus would be Arteta’s main man up top. Regular game time can be guaranteed and Champions League football could be the icing on the cake.
Sterling is valued between €50m-€70m (£42m-£60m) by CIES Football Observatory, but those figures could decrease if the England international does not end up agreeing new terms in Manchester. It might seem as if I’m living in cloud cuckoo land when talking about signing both players, but it’s encouraging to learn that Arteta and Edu are looking into these names nonetheless. If they become available, then it’s difficult to look the other way.