Following the resistance from Ajax towards Arsenal in the latter’s quest to sign Lisandro Martinez, the Gunners may end up looking elsewhere as the pursuit of defensive targets drags on this summer.
However, Mikel Arteta has expressed his happiness with the club’s transfer business so far but admitted there remains more to be done.
Gabriel Jesus, Fabio Vieira, Matt Turner and Marquinhos have all arrived through the door so far, although it’s no secret that other areas of the squad are in need of reinforcements.
So far, It’s been a window which has seen three attacking-minded players come in for Arsenal and while they may not be done in that department just yet, there are calls for the attention to turn towards midfield and defence in the coming weeks.
The defence especially, where there remain concerns over Kieran Tierney’s fitness and the reliability of his competitor, Nuno Tavares. Tierney was sidelined for 13 games last season, 10 of which were due to surgery on his knee. The Scotsman has endured several injury setbacks during his time at the club, and the decision to acquire Tavares last summer appeared to be related.
Another name said to be an option for Arteta is Oleksandr Zinchenko, who like Gabriel Jesus, is someone that knows the Arsenal boss wellz, having worked together at Manchester City. The 25-year-old can operate as a left-back or central midfielder, offering the versatility that is much desired.
Despite Zinchenko representing a good option, his availability on the market could now be in doubt. Pep Guardiola was reportedly keen on signing Brighton’s Marc Cucurella but the Seagulls are now in talks over a new and improved contract, The Athletic understands.
If Cucurella puts pen to paper on a new deal then Zinchenko could end up staying at the Etihad, with Manchester City’s transfer strategy unlikely to see them move on to other targets unless there’s an opportunity too good to ignore.
Arsenal already appear to be looking at what could be considered their ‘Plan C’ for the left-back position after showing interest in Benfica’s Alex Grimaldo. That interest is ‘intensifying’ according to Jornal de Notícias, who add that Benfica are expecting an official offer of €7m (£6m) to be submitted by Arsena,l which will be enough to complete a deal.
This article was first published by Chris Davison on Football London