Arsenal planning summer spending spree
Arsenal are still planning to spend big this summer, despite the fact that they are unlikely to qualify for next season’s edition of the Champions League. The Telegraph reveal that the Gunners are hoping to improve the squad and will still target the same players. The club are prioritising a striker and have Gabriel Jesus, Jonathan David, Tammy Abraham, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Moussa Dembele on their shortlist. Elsewhere, Youri Tielemans, Ruben Neves and Florian Grillitsch are being touted as midfield options, while Scotland’s Aaron Hickey has been identified as a potential signing at full-back.
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Paper Round’s view: Arsenal will be relying on their reputation, the recruitment team and manager Mikel Arteta to pull the strings in their summer spending spree. Their targets will need to be convinced of the project in north London. The Gunners have come so close to a top-four finish with a young and exciting squad, which could help in negotiations. However, it is likely that players like Jesus, Tielemans and Neves would want to move to clubs playing in the Champions League. The club will need to compile deep shortlists in case they cannot sign their top targets if they miss out on the top four this Sunday.
Arsenal offered World Cup-winning centre-back
Arsenal will be offered the opportunity to sign Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti this summer. The World Cup-winning defender is no longer wanted at the Camp Nou and Arsenal have been long-term admirers of Umtiti. The Star states that Barcelona are hoping Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta could fancy taking a punt on Umtiti due to recent defensive performances, which have seen the Gunners drop out of the Premier League’s top four. The report reveals that Arsenal will be in the market for defensive depth, even though William Saliba is set to return from a loan spell at Marseille.
Paper Round’s view: Arsenal’s defensive depth just is not good enough for their aims of reaching the top four and it has shown. The Gunners were embarrassed in the north London derby after Rob Holding – who only started due to an injury to Ben White – was sent off in the first half. Beyond Holding there is Saliba, who does not seem to be favoured by Arteta – despite the fact that he was just crowned Young Player of the Year in Ligue 1. Adding Umtiti is decent on paper, but the Frenchman is a shadow of his former self. He cannot be trusted to stay fit – so would be a waste of money for the Gunners.
Man City keen to sign Brighton defender
Manchester City have identified Brighton defender Marc Cucurella as the ideal signing to solve their problems at left-back, according to the Mail. The 23-year-old only joined the seaside club last summer from Getafe, but he has caught the attention of City boss Pep Guardiola. The Mail state that the Premier League leaders would need to pay around £30 million for Cucurella – around double what the Seagulls paid for him last year.
Paper Round’s view: Cucurella has enjoyed a spectacular debut season in England. Brighton are closing in on a top-half finish and the Spaniard has played a huge part in the Seagulls’ success. Cucurella graduated from Barcelona’s famed academy, La Masia, which makes it easy to understand why Guardiola is keen to sign him. The 51-year-old is a fan of his footballing ability, but his Barcelona background will encourage Guardiola to understand his personality and character due to the City coach’s links to the Catalan club.
West Ham want Watford striker
West Ham United are eyeing up a £20-million summer bid for Watford striker Emmanuel Dennis, according to the Mirror. The east London club are ready to back manager David Moyes in the transfer market after a successful season that saw West Ham reach the Europa League semi-finals. Watford have been relegated to the Championship and Dennis is keen to stay in England, so the Hammers are keen to take advantage of this situation. The Hornets will demand up to £30 million for the Nigerian striker, who is also wanted by Newcastle United.
Paper Round’s view: West Ham are desperately in need of a striker. The Hammers have spent the entire season heavily relying on Michail Antonio – who is not a natural centre-forward – playing up front. Dennis has looked very bright for a struggling Watford side throughout the current campaign. There’s no doubt that a player of his talent belongs in the Premier League. Dennis is still just 24 years old and has shown plenty of potential to be an exciting goalscorer in the English top flight. West Ham can offer him European football next season – which should be enough to convince him to join.
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