Arsenal

Vlahovic in, Lacazette out – Three decisions Mikel Arteta will make in January transfer window

As revealed by football.london , Folarin Balogun is keen on proving himself on loan with Arsenal already receiving a number of enquiries for the forward.

Championship clubs including Middlesbrough, Millwall and Swansea have expressed interest in a January loan move, while French side Saint-Etienne are also interested in the youngster’s services.

Balogun has officially been promoted to the Gunners’ first-team squad – although he still faces strong competition for a place even in the matchday squad given the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are ahead of him in the pecking order.

He’s not the only youngster who could go out on loan in January, with academy starlets Ryan Alebiosu, Tim Akinola and George Lewis available for loan.

Alexandre Lacazette is keeping his options open ahead of a potentially lucrative summer move, while Eddie Nketiah has informed Arsenal of his desire to leave.

The Frenchman’s current deal expires in the summer of 2022 and sources close to the player have confirmed that he has no plans to extend his stay beyond that period.

Arsenal were open to selling Lacazette in the current transfer window but struggled to offload the 30-year-old due to the considerably high salary he’s on.

Roma and Atletico Madrid were among the clubs linked with Lacazette, although we understands the Gunners did not receive a formal offer from either club.

Recent reports had suggested that Arsenal are considering to make a short-term contract offer to Lacazette, although Arteta has distanced himself from the rumours.

Meanwhile, Nketiah remains intent on forcing through a move away from Arsenal in the coming months.

Nketiah is also able to sign a pre-contract with a foreign club in January, although a cut-price deal in the New Year also remains an option for the Gunners.

He has rejected two contract extension offers from the club and will also assess his options in the New Year.

New signings

Perhaps the most important decision facing Mikel Arteta in January will be over new acquisitions.

The Gunners spent £150million in the summer transfer window and any major outlays appear unlikely until next summer at the earliest.

Dusan Vlahovic, Renato Sanches and Alexander Isak are among the names who have been linked with the north London giants in recent weeks.

Arsenal are keen on bolstering their ranks with a forward if they can offload one of Lacazette or Nketiah in January.

“We are in discussion,” said Arteta when asked about January transfers.

“We have talks every week about it, how we can improve the team, and what things can happen in the January transfer window that can effect our squad.

“As you know, we have certain players with a little bit of uncertainty in the summer so we have to plan what’s going to happen now and what’s going to happen in the summer.

“A lot has to be done, we know and we don’t expect big things to be happening, but we need to be very alert in the market to see if we can improve the team.

“We have to be prepared because things can happen and injuries can arise in this period of the season and you have to be prepared and planned.”

 

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