Arsenal prepare eight-man clearout to fund Mikel Arteta’s squad overhaul

The Gunners are short on funds and will need to trim the wage bill by moving on up to eight players before making signings

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Thursday 07 January 2021 11:05 GMT
Arteta is keen for a squad overhaul at Arsenal
Arteta is keen for a squad overhaul at Arsenal (Getty)
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Mikel Arteta wants up to eight players gone over the January and summer transfer windows in order to speed up his overhaul of the Arsenal squad.

Among those seen as dispensable are Shkodran Mustafi, Mohamed Elneny, Reiss Nelson, Callum Chambers, Folarin Balogun, Joe Willock as well as obvious outcasts like Mesut Ozil, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Sead Kolasinac.

Arsenal would also consider approaches for Konstantinos Mavropanos and Lucas Torreira, who have yet to return.

The club will meanwhile review the situations of Granit Xhaka and Alexandre Lacazette, with the latter's contract set to run out next year.

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With finances currently stretched at Arsenal, Arteta knows the wage bill must be cut to bring in players, but there is also the fact that he wants to change the mentality of the squad.

He sees changing personnel as crucial to this, and also wants to generally streamline the squad.

Ozil is one of those whose situation is most problematic, given his profile and wages.

Despite interest from DC United and Fenerbahce, the current expectation is that he will not leave until the summer.

The club are meanwhile mindful that it might be better to loan out Nelson and Willock, rather than sell, but their value and potential means they could serve as makeweights in deals to bring targets such as Norwich City's Emi Buendia in.

As it stands, it is unlikely Arsenal will sign players this January unless there are also outgoings.

The club will also increasingly lean on their youth production, with that having offered returns already this season.

Miguel Azeez is seen as the next player expected to step up, although that will likely occur later in the season.

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