Rob Holding has slipped further down Mikel Arteta’s list of defensive options – Getty Images/Michael Regan
Arsenal have spent around £200 million on new signings this summer and now, with the end of the transfer window fast approaching, the club is focusing on selling the players who are not fundamental to Mikel Arteta’s plans.
A key part of Arsenal’s strategy is to generate money through sales and Edu, the club’s sporting director, is leading the efforts to find buyers for the fringe members of the first-team squad.
So far this summer, Arsenal have generated around £44 million through sales and sell-on clauses, if add-ons are included.
They have reached this figure through the departures of Granit Xhaka (£21.4 million to Bayer Leverkusen), Matt Turner (£10 million to Nottingham Forest), Pablo Mari (£6 million to Monza) and Auston Trusty (£5 million to Sheffield United). Arsenal also received around £2 million as part of the deal that took former defender Konstantinos Mavropanos from Stuttgart to West Ham United.
Here, Telegraph Sport breaks down which other players could be leaving the Emirates Stadium before the end of the window – and where they might go.
Arsenal are ready to cash in on Balogun after his superb season on loan at Reims. The academy graduate scored 21 goals in 37 appearances in Ligue 1 and is now a full United States international.
Inter Milan have been involved in the race for Balogun but, at the time of writing, it is AS Monaco who are pushing hardest for his signature. Arsenal have already rejected one offer from Monaco this summer, thought to be in the region of £30 million.
As reported by Telegraph Sport earlier this week, Chelsea are also admirers of Balogun. However, there is currently a significant difference in valuations of the 22-year-old.
It is a transfer saga that has dragged on throughout the summer, but the expectation remains that Balogun will leave the club before the end of the window.
As reported by Telegraph Sport earlier this year, Newcastle United were in pole position to sign Tierney this summer. Adding another left-back was not a priority for Newcastle at the start of the window, though, with the club instead choosing to invest heavily in midfield and forward areas.
Newcastle then switched their attention away from Tierney and towards Lewis Hall, a younger option. Hall has joined from Chelsea on a loan deal that will be made permanent next summer. Aston Villa also had interest in Tierney but they too have so far chosen against making a formal move.
Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney could both depart Arsenal in the closing stage of the transfer window – Getty Images/Stuart MacFarlane
Real Sociedad are now at the front of the queue to sign the Scotland international, as reported by Telegraph Sport earlier this month. However, the Spanish side are hoping to do a loan, rather than a permanent transfer. How would the finances work in such a deal, especially with regard to Tierney’s high wages? Would such an agreement be acceptable for Arsenal? These are the questions that must be answered in the coming days.
What is certain is that Tierney is not currently in Arteta’s plans. He was left out of the squad for both of Arsenal’s opening two Premier League matches of the campaign.
Another player who has not featured in the matchday squad in the Premier League so far this season is Holding. The central defender is a hugely popular member of the team and a key figure in the dressing room but his time at the club appears to be coming to an end.
Turkish side Besiktas are thought to be pushing to sign Holding, while it has been reported in France that he could also be of interest to Rennes. Holding’s contract runs until the summer of 2024 (with the option of a further year) so he is unlikely to command a sizable transfer fee.
Portuguese left-back Tavares spent last season on loan at Marseille, where he scored six goals in Ligue 1. It is understood that he has attracted interest from Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa.
A possible move to Forest has stalled, however, and is currently regarded as unlikely to happen. It remains to be seen whether Villa make a formal offer for the 23-year-old, who cost around £8 million when he joined Arsenal from Benfica in the summer of 2021.
Arsenal are hoping to turn a profit on left wing-back Nuno Tavares – Reuters/David Klein
Arsenal had held talks with Burnley over a loan move for midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, who spent the second half of last season at Crystal Palace. A switch to Turf Moor would have given Lokonga the opportunity to reunite with Vincent Kompany, his former head coach at Anderlecht, but those talks have not progressed. There has also been tentative interest from Brighton.
Until the arrival of Declan Rice from West Ham, Nicolas Pepe was Arsenal’s record signing. There has been little sign of him having any sort of future at the club, though, as he was not involved in pre-season following a campaign on loan at Nice last year.
With one year remaining on his deal, and with the 28-year-old earning a large wage, Arsenal’s options are limited. They will hope to avoid a contract termination but that must be regarded as a possibility. Turkish side Besiktas are thought to have shown the most interest.
Full-back Soares spent the second half of last season on loan at Fulham but did not feature regularly, and Arsenal are happy for him to leave the club this summer. The 31-year-old has one year remaining on his contract and is therefore not expected to generate a meaningful transfer fee — if, indeed, there is any transfer fee at all. A number of Spanish and Portuguese clubs have been linked.
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