Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is likely to be a busy man once again in the January transfer window after splashing plenty of money on new signings in the summer months. The table-topping Gunners have enjoyed a highly impressive start to the new Premier League campaign and will be hoping to add an extra injection of star quality when the market reopens in order to maintain their positive momentum at the business end of the season.
It seems as though Arsenal’s decision-makers are prepared to back Arteta in January after growing concerned over the possibility of their squad burning out, with the 40-year-old set to receive a budget of around £50million to use as he sees fit, according to The Sun. Several high-profile names have been tentatively linked with the Gunners as of late, although it remains to be seen which direction they will go in as they look to use the mid-season market to their advantage.
Express Sport takes a look at four potential targets that Arsenal could sign within their reported £50m budget if they play their cards right in January…
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Arsenal have been credited with a desire to land Tielemans for some time but could finally decide to pounce in January if they decide to explore the idea of a cut-price deal with Leicester City. The Belgian midfielder will be out of contract at the end of the season and is not expected to sign a new one any time soon, which suggests that Leicester’s final opportunity to sell him for a fee will arrive at the turn of the year.
Another option for Arsenal could be to wait and sign Tielemans on a free transfer next summer, although several other Premier League clubs are believed to be keeping a close eye on the 25-year-old’s situation. They could benefit from jumping the queue by trying to land Tielemans in January in a relatively modest deal, which could potentially be done for less than half of their £50m transfer budget.
Mudryk is also said to be among the players on Arsenal’s radar after turning plenty of heads with his form for Shakhtar Donetsk and at international level with Ukraine. The teenage winger has already been compared to the likes of Neymar as a result of his trickery on the ball and is widely considered to be one of Europe’s brightest prospects, which ensures that he would fit Arsenal’s transfer policy of signing talented young players with sky-high potential.
A huge number of clubs from across the continent are said to be tracking Mudryk’s progress, though, with the amount of external interest in his services likely to drive up Shakhtar’s asking price in January. Arsenal will be hoping that the lure of Arteta’s exciting project will be enough to ward off the competition when the bidding opens for Mudryk, who has already expressed his interest in joining the Gunners at the next available opportunity.
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Arsenal may be inclined to target a move for Villarreal forward Yeremy Pino if they fail in their efforts to land Mudryk, with the former having been watched by those in north London for some time. Reports have claimed that Pino would be open to the idea of joining Arsenal either in January or at the end of the season, but any successful move is likely to come at a hefty price.
Villarreal are said to be demanding around £50m in exchange for Pino’s signature, which could force Arsenal into using up all of their transfer budget to sign just one player. However, with Arteta reportedly keen to ease the attacking burden on Bukayo Saka out wide, it would not be a surprise to see the addition of a new winger moved to the very top of Arsenal’s priority list.
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The Gunners have also been heavily linked with a move for Palmeiras enforcer Danilo, who is said to be valued at just £20m by his current employers as things stand. He has been one of the best performers in South America in recent months and could potentially emerge as an attractive option for Arsenal in January as a result of his affordable price tag and his impressive range of passing in the middle of the park.
Arsenal reportedly enquired about Danilo’s availability over the summer but did not follow up on their initial talks with Palmeiras, although a renewed approach over the coming months would not be out of the question. They will certainly have a plethora of targets to mull over when the transfer window returns next year, but only time will tell if they can strike the right deals to tangibly improve their squad in advance of the Premier League run-in.