The March international break is officially under way and for some, it will likely be their penultimate experience of one as an Arsenal player ahead of what is expected to be a busy summer in terms of incomings and outgoings.
This is because there is another international break at the end of the season. For example, England are in UEFA Nations League action in June with their Group A clashes against Hungary and Germany taking place before the summer transfer window officially opens on June 9.
Therefore, unless the Gunners move any players on in June, their outgoing business won’t get started until July 1 when Matteo Guendouzi and Konstantinos Mavropanos officially join Marseille and Stuttgart respectively following successful loan spells this season.
football.london understands there is a sell-on clause for the Greece international which is likely to be in the region of 10% and as these are two deals that have already been agreed by Arsenal ahead of the summer transfer window, how many other first-team players are expected to follow suit?
Well, Bernd Leno is certainly one with Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu already planning for life without the German goalkeeper by agreeing a deal with New England Revolution for Matt Turner to replace him as the understudy to Aaron Ramsdale next season.
In addition, the arrival of Turner will have an impact on Alex Runarsson’s future. The Iceland international has been spending the campaign on loan at OH Leuven in Belgium after failing to impress at Arsenal and one would expect him to move on as his chances of regular first-team football are unlikely to increase if he remains in north London.
Staying on the topic of loan players, football.london have previously reported that Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Hector Bellerin are both set to leave permanently this summer with the club targeting a right-back and central midfielder in the transfer window. Meanwhile, Auston Trusty will be heading back out on loan to spend a season at a European club after his spell at Colorado Rapids ends.
Lucas Torreira, as revealed by football.london, is expected to join Fiorentina permanently, a Pablo Mari exit could be on the cards, especially if William Saliba is finally integrated into Arteta’s first-team plans, but Cedric Soares’ future could be dependent on whether Arsenal manage to bring in a right-back and a decision has to be made regarding Granit Xhaka as Roma are set to reignite their interest in the Swiss midfielder this summer.
Arteta and Edu also have to make a final call on Mohamed Elneny, Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette who are all out of contract in June. All signs point towards the former duo departing and barring a breakthrough following talks at the end of the season, the Frenchman’s time in north London will also draw to a close.
“Yeah, we have discussions as you know and at the end of the season, once we know where we are, we will make a decision all together,” Arteta revealed last month. “I don’t want anyone to think about something else that is not that. The decision, we agreed, is to do it in the summer and we’re going to do it as soon as the season is finished.”
In total, that is 12 first-team players expected to leave – either permanently or on loan – this summer and there’s still time for that number to increase as Arteta looks to complete an overhaul of the Arsenal first-team squad which began in earnest almost two years ago.