Mikel Arteta says Arsenal are still very much active in the transfer market and will look to improve their squad further, though refused to talk about specific targets such as Lyon’s Houssem Aouar.
Arteta, as is his custom, did not discuss about other clubs’ players but did confirm that he is not happy with the current squad and will be buying and selling before the window closes.
‘We are still active in the market, we are looking at different options,’ said the Spaniard ahead of Saturday’s Premier League game against Fulham.
‘I would say we are active in the market for players in and out, at the moment the squad balance is not the ideal we want to achieve so there is still some work to do.
‘We have to bear in mind the complication with this transfer market and the complexity and the timing, because you can see that clubs are behaving in many different ways and it is a little bit uncertain how this will work in the next few weeks.’
Asked to explain how the squad is imbalanced, he said: ‘Firstly number-wise. Some positions are overbooked, I said some others, in terms of specific qualities that we need, they are still not there.
‘It is going to be very difficult to achieve what we want in one window or two windows. It is a process, it has to evolve and most importantly it has to be a sustainable model that we can consistently feed in using our academy players.’
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When asked specifically about a possible deal for Aouar, Arteta said: ‘I don’t want to talk about players at other clubs that are not our players.’
He added: ‘It’s been a very strange mini-pre-season with a lot of external factors that are difficult to control. I think today is the first day that we have the full squad training together for pre-season.
‘Just a day before we play the first game, but we have tried to put in the work that we needed, obviously without some key players for different reasons.
‘Towards the market and our squad, obviously, we bought Willian and Gabriel. They’re two really good recruitments in my opinion and two players that are going to improve our squad, but it’s been a very complicated market so far.’