Santi Cazorla, Yann M’Vila, Hugo Lloris and many other players have been linked with transfers to Arsenal this summer, but this is only half the story.
Most of our attention is placed firmly on the possibility of new faces during transfer windows and rumours are abound over the latest stars to make a big-money switch.
The Gunners are no different and manager Arsene Wenger has indicated this week that he is ready to spend some of the club’s millions on more stars.
However, a club can only do this if they have space in the squad and room to manoeuvre on the wage bill.
This is especially prescient for the Emirates Stadium outfit; what with the vacillating experience of last season.
Wenger’s team suffered the club’s worst start to a season in decades, having to relying on the profligacy and stuttering form of local rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Financial constraints stemming from the move to their new stadium have meant Wenger’s means for spending were limited, but a wage structure that rewarded young players early has also hampered the signing of new players.
For a man whose shrewdness in spotting talent is famed, Wenger has seen his faith in some of his young charges turn out to be misplaced and the salaries that came with it are proving to be a major stumbling block.
Cutting adrift players you have realised won’t make the grade is a regular part of football, but Arsenal’s well intentioned wage set up was not.
They seem to be prepared to spend considerably on improving the squad this summer, but the accounts aren’t so flush that they are able to recruit quality at a higher rate of pay and not have to cut loose some of the deadwood.
Brazilian midfielder Denilson is a prime example of the Gunners not being able to get rid of a player due to his sizeable salary. The 24-year-old has fallen well out of favour at the club and his loan move back to Sao Paulo was obviously an attempt to lure a buyer.
It didn’t work though, and now he has returned on loan to the club Arsenal bought him from for £3.4million in 2006 for another year, due to a lack of interest and the Brazilians being unable to afford both his wages and a transfer fee.
Sebastien Squillaci is what can safely be called a flop since his arrival from La Liga club Sevilla in 2010 and has only played when injuries have forced Wenger to pick him, or when a rest was needed for the more in favour defenders.
Wages, again, is the issue and a potential move to newly promoted Ligue 1 side Bastia fell through due to the two parties failing to find an agreement.
Carlos Vela has all but completed as move to Real Socieded (he was another long-term loanee), but Arsenal were reportedly forced to lower their asking price due to the Spanish club being in a similar situation to Sao Paulo.
Many reports have suggested an exceptionally high sell-on fee was agreed to resolve the issue.
Nicklas Bendtner, despite his undoubted confidence, has struggled to find suitors but comments by his agent suggest a deal to leave is not far off.
Park Ju-Young, Marouane Chamakh, Henri Lansbury would be added to the list of those who appear to have come to the end of their time with the club, but none will be easy to shift because of the stature of clubs that want them not being able to afford them.
Nevertheless, it is the price the club will have to pay for a policy that has been kept to impressively, but has ultimately failed to produce the trophies that fans are desperate for.
The beginning of last season was the nadir of Wenger’s time in charge of Arsenal and, while they should be praised for finishing third in the Premier League, it is clear this summer will be one of significant transition.
Transition at a football club requires players to move in and out, so the failure to clear out unwanted bodies is a hindrance to any progress they intend to make.