Mikel Arteta is set to sell several Arsenal defenders this summer – including Sead Kolasinac – along with midfield duo Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira, according to reports.
Arteta is preparing for his first summer transfer window as Gunners manager but is expected to be limited to loans and free transfers unless he can increase the club’s budget by offloading a number of first-team players.
Arsenal’s transfer kitty will of course be boosted if the club manager to qualify for either the Champions League or Europa League.
Arteta’s side are currently eighth in the Premier League, eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan joining Roma on a permanent deal will help and Mesut Ozil continues to be linked with a move away from the Emirates, although his lucrative wages will inevitably put off potential suitors.
But Arteta wants to reshuffle his squad further, according to The Times, and is ready to sell left-back Kolasinac and some of the seven centre-backs at the club, along with Guendouzi and Torreira.
Kolasinac has endured a mixed spell in north London since his move from Schalke in 2017 and has started only 15 of Arsenal’s 32 Premier League matches this term.
Guendouzi and Torreira have had a similar fate at the Emirates and neither have convinced Arteta that they have long-term futures at Arsenal.
Last month, Arsenal legend Charlie Nicholas said Arteta could sell up to ten of his players this summer, including star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
‘They do not have a centre-back of prominence at the club. Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz are just simply not good enough,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘They spent around £8million on David Luiz, who has won the Premier League and the Champions League. The craziness is that he was better than what was already there.
‘That should show those players just how bad it is and also how bad it is for Arteta. Kieran Tierney cost £25m but is not yet fit, we have no centre-backs, Sead Kolasinac cannot defend either.
‘Arteta has inherited this team, and it has been a disaster defensively. Pablo Mari is not the answer I don’t think.
‘If you have to sell Luiz, Sokratis, Mustafi, Ozil to get him off the wage bill, Kolasinac too, then do it. Take the money for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang if the right amount comes in, and sell Granit Xhaka as well.
‘There are ten players Arsenal could sell. It goes into a fund to get more defenders.’