Arsenal may sign brand new midfield for £145m as Arteta builds title-winning XI

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reviews the Nottingham Forest game

Mikel Arteta will hope to be significantly backed by the Arsenal board in the summer transfer market after falling just short of Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title. The Gunners’ squad became stretched due to injuries in the tail end of the season and they were unable to keep up with Pep Guardiola’s men, who lifted the trophy following their 1-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday.

Midfield appears to be an area that Arsenal have pinpointed as in need of reinforcements, as both Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo are reported targets. Arteta’s side were previously touted as frontrunners for the West Ham captain’s signature though he will not come cheap, as ESPN claim that he will likely cost as much as £100million.

Hammers boss David Moyes has backed up that claim, often outlining his view that the England midfielder would cost more than the British transfer record £106.8m fee that Chelsea paid for Enzo Fernandez in January. It is unlikely that Rice is the only incoming midfielder this summer, however, especially with the looming departure of Granit Xhaka.

Ilkay Gundogan has been mentioned as someone that could take up the mantle from the Switzerland star, after his end-of-season form ended Arsenal’s title hopes the Manchester City captain is out of contract in just a few weeks’ time and could leave the Etihad on a free transfer.

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Arteta is said to be driving Arsenal’s interest in the German, having coached him during his time as Guardiola’s assistant – if he can replicate his performances at the Emirates then he would be considered an exceptionally good value signing.

While latest reports have suggested that Arsenal also want to add more depth to their attacking midfield, as Martin Odegaard has started all but one of his side’s league games so far this campaign while Fabio Vieira and Emile Smith Rowe have struggled to impress.

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Mason Mount has been touted as an option but Todd Boehly is expected to demand a high price, which combined with Rice’s fee may be deemed unnecessary by those in charge at the Emirates. James Maddison, however, will have just one year left on his contract and if Leicester are unable to avoid relegation, he would be a much simpler purchase than Mount.

With Maddison, Rice and Gundogan, Arteta would be able to refresh their midfield and provide much-needed support to Odegaard and Thomas Partey.

A fresh trio in the middle of the pitch could help combat the loss of Xhaka and allow for the likes of Smith Rowe, Vieira and Albert Sambi Lokonga to either leave permanently for a fee that could be reinvested, or on loan and earn valuable experience elsewhere.

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