Mikel Arteta, Arsenal's manager, has disclosed the club's plan to make transfers this summer as he strives to close the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool.
For the first time in six years, Arsenal is on track to qualify for the Champions League. A win against north London rivals Tottenham on Thursday night would secure fourth place. With three games remaining, Arsenal are four points clear of Spurs.
Securing a place in Europe's top cup tournament would aid Arsenal in attracting top players to The Emirates.
A report in the Daily Mirror claims that owner Stan Kroenke is prepared to give Arteta significant funds to strengthen its position. That is despite Arsenal spending more than £140 million on new additions last summer.
Speaking after City announced the big-name signing of Erling Haaland, Arteta said: “We expect that every team is going to reinforce and get better every single year." That’s been the case in the last three or four years in particular.
“You can see the standard and the level of the top teams in the league, which is unprecedented in Premier League history, and that’s the level." It’s only going to get more and more difficult. All the planning we have to do is to try to get to that level. ”
City striker Gabriel Jesus is just one player linked with the Gunners. And his agent, Marcelo Pettinati, admits talks have taken place.
He said: “We had talks with Arsenal about Gabriel Jesus. We like the project – it’s a possibility we’re discussing." There are six more clubs interested in Gabriel – he’s focused on his final games with Man City, so we’ll see.
Arteta is coy on striker talk.
But when asked about Jesus, Arteta said, “You know that I don’t talk about any players that are not with us.”
The Gunners chief was also reluctant to discuss the chances of adding strikers to his squad this summer. Both Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette could soon leave on free transfers, which would leave a big hole in his squad.
Arteta added: “I am looking for the strikers that we have in the team, and this is my focus." We have three games to go and that’s the only thing I am focusing on. ”
The Gunners will be missing Thomas Partey (thigh) and Kieran Tierney (knee) for Thursday night’s clash. Ben White (hamstring) and Bukayo Saka (knock) are also doubtful for the game.
"Ben, he is still a doubt. We have to assess him and see how he is feeling, which is much better,” said Arteta. “With Bukayo, it’s the same. It’s very difficult to rate with injuries; it’s just how they feel today. That’s the last day that we can assess them and try to get the feeling, basically. ”