Arsene Wenger is planning a sizeable overhaul of his Arsenal team this summer after being told he will have as much as £75million to spend on new players.
According to the Telegraph, the central spine of the team has been made the priority with Wenger hoping to sign both an established central midfielder and defender. There is also the potential for a new striker while Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell is a target too.
Chilwell was reportedly the subject of a transfer bid from the Gunners in January and has also attracted interest from Liverpool. Arsenal will firm up their interest if, as expected, Kieran Gibbs asks to leave the Emirates. The England international has seen his career stall since falling behind Nacho Monreal and is rumoured to be unhappy.
But the promising teenager would be a side note in what looks set to be a busy summer for the Gunners. Having failed to sign a senior outfiled player in the last summer window, Wenger looks set to bring in as many as four this time around.
Mathieu Debuchy, Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky are all expected to leave and will need replacing. While none are considered important players in the current set-up, their departures will leave the squad significantly short on both depth and experience.
Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are both on the wrong side of 30 and Wenger will be aware that neither will be able to play 50 games a season anymore. The ageing squad will need new blood and scouts have been told to focus on central midfielders and defenders.
N’Golo Kante, Victor Wanyama and William Carvalho have all been scouted by Arsenal's extensive network while Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is being monitored. However, the £60m price tag plus his known preference for La Liga may prove prohibitive.
That £75m budget also includes new wages, which means a significant portion could go on securing the futures of both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Their deals expire in 2018 and Wenger wants them tied down to the end of the decade.
Ozil, who earns £140,000-a-week, is believed to be after around £200,000-a-week; a figure he could quite easily command at one of Europe's richer clubs. Sanchez, on £130,000-a-week, will want something similar.
In all of this change, there will also be questions about Wenger's own future. The Frenchman's contract expires in 2017 and there have been renewed calls for him to step down if he does not deliver the Premier League title this season.
Wenger has overseen an overhaul at both London Colney and the Hale End academy and seems committed to taking Arsenal into a new era of success. However, there is always the underlying potential for him to make an “instinctive and impulsive” decision.
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