Arsenal want a defender, midfielder and No 10 in summer transfer plans

Arsenal are prioritising a defender, midfielder and a No 10 as Mikel Arteta looks to freshen up his squad… Ben White and Albert Sambi Lokonga are top targets, while Nabil Fekir could be their best option after missing out on Emi Buendia

  • Arsenal are targeting at least four players as they to overhaul squad
  • Mikel Arteta wants a defender, midfielder, No 10 and a back-up goalkeeper
  • Cover at full-back is also wanted and they could move for a forward
  • Ben White, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Nabil Fekir and Mat Ryan are all options, with Jesus Corona and Alassane Plea also on their radar
  • Hector Bellerin and Granit Xhaka are set to leave but Emile Smith Rowe looks like signing a new contract despite interest from Aston Villa 

Arsenal have entered a crucial summer with the club having missed out on European football after a disappointing season which saw them finish eighth.

With finances restricted, the Gunners have already lost out to Aston Villa on the signing of Emi Buendia from Norwich, while they face the very real prospect of losing young stars Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe – who the Gunners rejected an approach from Villa for this week – in the future if they do not begin to challenge near the top of the table again.

The task facing the club and manager Mikel Arteta is to improve the squad on a limited budget so, with players needed in every department, how will they go about it? Sportsmail takes a look at Arsenal’s summer transfer plans…

Mikel Arteta (right) has plenty to think about, while Aston Villa want Emile Smith Rowe (left)

The equation here is pretty simple: Arsenal need a back-up to Bernd Leno. 

Runar Alex Runarsson was signed for that purpose last summer but it was quickly decided he was not good enough and is seen as better suited to being third choice.  

The Gunners have discussed Barcelona reserve Neto, Ajax’s Andre Onana and Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale, but a move to bring back Mat Ryan, who spent the second half of the season on loan from Brighton, might make most sense.

Goalkeeper Mat Ryan spent the second half of last season on loan and could return to the club


With David Luiz gone, Arteta wants a top quality centre back to compete with Gabriel and Rob Holding and Brighton’s Ben White is top of their list. 

The England international is keen on the move but Brighton will only sell if their valuation of around £50m is met, which means Arsenal will have to sell first.

Long-serving right back Hector Bellerin is available for transfer but Arsenal are struggling to find suitors, with AC Milan, Real Betis and Villarreal priced out, while Paris Saint-Germain have turned their attention to Serge Aurier. 

Brighton and England defender Ben White is wanted by Arsenal must find £50m

Arteta has Calum Chambers and Cedric Soares as right back options but is likely to sign another full back should Bellerin leave, with Lille’s Zeki Celik and Everton’s Jonjoe Kenny both being discussed.

Arsenal like Tariq Lamptey but there is a slim chance of affording him on top of White, while they are also likely to be priced out of a move for Norwich’s Max Aarons.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is set to leave permanently as he wants to play in midfield, with Everton and Southampton interested. 

Also heading out of the door is Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos, who is set to make his loan move to Stuttgart permanent, while young French defender William Saliba looks set for a Premier League loan with Newcastle keen. 

Porto’s Jesus Corona is a target and he can play both right back and right wing. 

Porto’s Jesus Corona is versatile, with the Mexican able to play right back or right wing


This is where it gets complicated, with Arteta looking to overhaul his midfield.

Granit Xhaka is wanted by Roma and Arsenal are willing to sell if they increase their initial offer of £12.6m. The Gunners want to replace Xhaka with Anderlecht’s 21-year-old Albert Sambi Lokonga, who would compete with Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey for a start, but have had an initial bid of around £13.5m rejected.

Ruben Neves of Wolves is another option in midfield, and would be a like-for-like replacement for Dani Ceballos, but is not likely to come cheap. 

Anderlecht’s Albert Sambi Lokonga is wanted to replace Granit Xhaka in holding midfield

Further forward, Arsenal want a top class No 10 to replace Martin Odegaard, who has returned to Real Madrid after his loan spell and is set to be in Carlo Ancelotti’s first-team squad next season.

They missed out on Buendia, while a move for James Maddison is very unlikely despite their interest, with Leicester wanting £70m. Nabil Fekir from Betis is a more realistic option, but Arsenal are yet to bid for the Frenchman.

Smith Rowe is set to sign a new contract despite interest from Villa. 

Nabil Fekir could be Arsenal’s best option in attacking midfield, with Martin Odegaard gone

Arsenal hope to sell Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira, with the former wanted by Marseille, while Newcastle want Joe Willock after his impressive loan move. 

Corona would compete with Willian and Nicolas Pepe for a start on the right. 


Alexandre Lacazette has just one year remaining on his contract and Arsenal could be tempted to sell, while Eddie Nketiah has interest from Watford.

If one of those players leaves and funds are available then Borussia Monchengladbach’s Alassane Plea is an option. 

Alassane Plea has been watched by the Gunners and could replace Alexandre Lacazette

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