The summer transfer window is still months away but the rumours linking Arsenal with a number of players are already gathering pace.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Mikel Arteta revealed that plans are already in place with regards to the business the north London club hope to do in the closed season, so you can expect the rumours to intensify further as the window edges closer.
Let’s take a look at six of the names already being linked with the Gunners and see who they should be looking to prioritise first this summer.
AC Milan’s Calhanoglu is out of contract in the summer and has been linked with a number of European clubs. Links between Calhanoglu and Arsenal go all the way back to his days at Hamburg but a move has never materialised.
The 27-year-old has provided his teammates with nine assists in the Italian top flight so far this season but has only found the back of the net himself on one occasion.
Like some of the other names mentioned, he should only be considered in the event that the Gunners are unable to come to an agreement for the permanent transfer of Martin Odegaard, who has shown positive signs since swapping Madrid for north London.
If Arsenal do end up needing to look at free agents in the summer, Calhanoglu would be a solid option.
Arsenal were heavily linked with a move for Norwich’s Buendia last summer and those rumours resurfaced again in January.
However, it is thought the Canaries are looking for something in the region of £40m for their star man and the Gunners were simply unable to lay out that kind of money during the window earlier this year.
In the end, they captured Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid until the end of the season and although he’s impressed since his arrival, the Buendia talk just won’t go away.
Norwich are headed for promotion back to the Premier League and the Argentine made the headlines this week with an excellent winner against Brentford.
Unless the Norfolk club are willing to significantly drop their asking price, this deal feels unlikely. The signing of a wide forward or creative midfielder only feels worthwhile if the Gunners are unable to capture Odegaard permanently in the summer.
22-year-old Lyon midfielder Aouar was strongly linked during the summer but Lyon president Jean Michel Aulas made no secret of the fact Arsenal were unwilling to meet his valuation and the move never happened.
Currently linked with a move to Anfield, you could argue Aouar would be the perfect partner for Thomas Partey in the heart of Arsenal’s midfield. It’s an area of the park that certainly needs addressing, particularly given that there is no guarantee Dani Ceballos will stay at the Emirates beyond the end of this season.
Arteta and Edu are said to be huge admirers of the Frenchman and he would certainly be a great addition to the midfield. Based on previous, however, it feels like a deal for Aouar is a little out of the club’s reach financially.
The Gunners and fans alike will be hoping Lyon’s stance has softened by the time the transfer window re-opens and if it has, it’s certainly worth exploring the possibility of doing a deal.
Arsenal are said to be among a number of big European clubs keeping a close eye on RB Leipzig defender Konate.
Having overseen an exodus of central defenders in January which included Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Shkodran Mustafi and William Saliba who joined Nice on loan, the Spaniard may feel he is in need of one more, especially with the uncertainty regarding David Luiz’s future.
Konate has struggled with injuries this season and he’s only played eight times in the Bundesliga. However, the centre back is extremely dominant in the air and has famously formed a formidable partnership with Dayot Upamecano.
In the event he is sold, it’s likely RB Leipzig will demand a hefty fee, one that may be outside of Arsenal’s price-range. If they can raise the funds required through player sales, he’d be an upgrade on many of their current options.
Lamptey is said to be at the top of the list as far as Arteta is concerned when it comes to identifying a replacement for Hector Bellerin.
The Spaniard is said to be considering his future at the club having been persuaded to stay last summer despite the interest of Paris Saint-Germain.
Lamptey started the season in excellent form but has been out injured since mid-December. In the event Brighton are willing to entertain offers for the former Chelsea man, they’ve given no indication regarding the fee they’d be looking for.
As things stand, there is no deal in place for Bellerin to leave the Emirates Stadium but with his departure looking like a real possibility, there would be a clear need for the club to bring in a replacement full back.
The 20-year-old has the potential to go on and establish himself as a regular first-team player at the Arsenal and if the financials can be agreed, the Gunners should go for it.
Arsenal are said to have enquired about the availability of the Celtic striker Edouard, who could be available for a fee in the region of £21m.
Edouard’s contract situation means Celtic are likely to offload the striker this summer and he could be available for a cut-price fee – an opportunity the Gunners won’t want to miss given their long term admiration of the player.
With Alexandre Lacazette’s contract due to expire in 2022, he could be sold this summer and in the eyes of many the 23-year-old would be the perfect replacement.
Given the financial constraints Arteta and Edu are going to have to work under this summer, the potential acquisition of Edouard will likely hinge on whether Lacazette is sold – in which case bringing in another centre forward would be a priority.