Friday, December 23, 2022

Mikel Arteta confirms Arsenal plan for 'next level' January signing amid Gabriel Jesus update

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta left fans excited for the January transfer window on Thursday after outlining the type of player he was looking for to strengthen his squad.

The Gunners are expected to be busy, with Gabriel Jesus potentially out of action for up to three months following successful knee surgery. Reiss Nelson is also expected to be on the sidelines for a number of weeks after picking up a knock in last weekend’s friendly against Juventus.

“With Gabi it’s difficult to put a time frame,” Arteta explained during Thursday’s press conference. “Knowing him I prefer not to give any dates. With Reiss, he’s going to be out for a while I think.”

When asked if the injuries had made the club’s transfer plans more urgent, Arteta remained tight-lipped and reiterated that they are actively looking to improve the team this winter.

“We are going to be active and active means we are looking to strengthen the team,” he said. “This squad still doesn’t have the luxury of not maximising every single window and we have to do that because it’s really important.”

However, one particular sentence was reminiscent of the Spaniard’s response to transfer speculation in the summer prior to the signings of Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fabio Vieira, suggesting Arsenal could target similar quality next month.

“But then we want to get the right profile, the right player and a player that really is going to impact the team and take us to the next level,” Arteta added.

It comes after various reports claimed that Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk is Arsenal’s priority target, with talks believed to be taking place between club and player representatives.

Mudryk has emerged as one of the most exciting young talents currently in the game, scoring 10 goals and providing eight assists in 18 appearances this season, some of which have come in the Champions League.

Shakhtar are said to be demanding around £87million for his services, although it’s thought a deal could be struck for a considerably lower fee.

Another name that certainly fits in with Arteta’s remarks is Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix. The 23-year-old Portuguese international, who joined Los Colchoneros for a reported £113million in 2019, looks set to leave the Metropolitano Stadium after becoming unhappy.

Reports in Spain have claimed that Arsenal are viewed as one of the frontrunners to sign Felix, although Atletico Madrid’s apparent asking price of £120million could prove problematic unless an alternative structure can be agreed upon.

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