Mikel Arteta has been given the go-ahead to spend more than £200m this summer in order to improve a squad that failed to last the distance in the Premier League title race.
Arsenal’s hopes of overtaking Manchester City ended on Sunday after the champions romped to a win at Everton, before the North London side were crushed at home by Brighton.
The optimism that characterised the Gunners rise to the summit has given way to the reality that Arteta’s young side are still short of what it takes to best Pep Guardiola’s winning machine over a 38-game season.
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According to the The Times, Arsenal will back their manager in the summer and have green lighted moves for key targets Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo.
Reports on Monday claimed they are preparing their opening offer for the West Ham skipper, while any move for the England international won’t prevent Arteta from making an effort to sign Moises Caicedo.
Arsenal made two club-record offers for the Ecuador international in January only for the 22-year-old to sign a new contract having handed in a transfer request and threatened to go on strike.
Arteta will also likely target defensive cover, both at full-back and centre-half, a winger who can provide competition for Bukayo Saka, and a striker who can act as a target man.
In order to fund their recruitment drive, however, Arsenal hope to raise about £100m from player sales with some popular figures in the dressing room and the fans likely to depart.
Granit Xhaka has played a vital role this campaign but a return to the Bundesliga is on the cards, while Arsenal are also open to offers for Smith Rowe who had fallen way down Arteta’s pecking order after an injury-hit season.
Players like Nicolas Pepe, Maitland-Niles, Folarin Balogun, Sambi Lokonga, Cedric Soares and Tavares, who have all spent the campaign out on loan, will also be made available for transfer.
Rob Holding has also likely played his last game for the Gunners, while Arsenal will reluctantly allow Kieran Tierney to leave amid the interest from Newcastle.
After Sunday’s defeat against Brighton, Arteta hinted that changes were afoot given his side’s recent collapse which has seen Arsenal win only two of their last seven games.
He said: ‘If the team can show that face as well, there are things that have to be addressed. With the level required for the Premier League and Champions League, there’s a lot to think about.’