Arsenal boss Arteta ‘will add more new faces’

Highbury hero Merson lets slip his old club aren’t done spending just yet

Thursday, 7th July — By Steve Barnett

Mikel Arteta IMG_7781 (1)

WITH Arsenal said to be looking to complete “a couple” more signings before the summer transfer window closes, the focus this week has been sharply fixed on who is next on Mikel Arteta’s shopping list.

The Gunners have already coughed up in the region of £90million bringing in Gabriel Jesus, Fabio Vieira, Matt Turner and Marquinhos.

And Highbury hero Paul Merson let slip this week that his old club haven’t done spending just yet.

Revealing a private conversation that he had with Arsenal’s technical director, Merson said: “I saw Edu on Sunday and we had a little chat. I can’t tell you that [what was discussed]. He was talking to me in confidence, we were at [an] Elton John [concert].

“I think they’ve bought well, and they want to bring a couple more players in. Arsenal could have a good season.

“I think top four will be the aim – they’ve got young players in the team, who’ve got another season under their belt.

“I don’t think there’s many excuses for Arsenal, they’ve got a good little team at the moment.”

The next new arrival at the Emirates is, according to reports, likely to be Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans. The 25-year old has entered the final 12 months of his current Foxes contract, and would therefore be available at a cut-price fee of around £30m.

Tielemans is said to be very keen to join Arsenal, so agreeing personal terms won’t be a problem. It’s now just a case of the Gunners making a suitable bid.

The north Londoners are also believed to have had a £47m offer for Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic turned down. Arsenal are said to be readying a second offer for the Serbia international, but with the Serie A side demanding nearer £68m, any moves for the midfielder could be a long way off.

One deal finally over the line is Gabriel Jesus, who was unveiled on Monday alongside messianic images of the striker overlooking the Emirates with his arms opened wide.

After completing his £45m move from Manchester City, the Brazil international was full of praise for his new manager, whom he spent three years during Arteta’s time as assistant to Pep Guardiola.

“I believe 100 per cent in Mikel,” said Jesus. “I had a very good time with him before, he’s a very good guy and a very good coach as well.

“He helped me a lot [at Manchester City]. We would always stick together after the training sessions and do some finishing or something.

“He’s a very intelligent guy and was an amazing player, so if he knows something he can teach me or the young players.”

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