Arsenal are looking for forwards from a position of evident weakness this summer, and the early phases of their pursuit of Gabriel Jesus demonstrate how tricky things may be.
The season is done, and Arsenal know where they stand. Now they must navigate the summer transfer window and emerge stronger.
There are several aspects to this, but perhaps the most crucial is up front, where the Gunners are incredibly thin.
All of this isn’t new – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang departed in January, while Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette’s contract issues have been simmering for months – but it doesn’t take away from its significance.
With the aforementioned strikers, Mikel Arteta led the squad to fifth place in the Premier League.
If the Gunners’ management wants to rectify this, they must move quickly since they are facing significant difficulties.
First and foremost, Arsenal will not be able to offer potential players Champions League football next season.
That’s a problem when you’re buying from the top shelf, especially if you’ve been dangling that specific carrot to entice players in recent months, when the club seemed to be on track to finish fourth.
Second, selling clubs are well aware of Arsenal’s current situation. They’re purchasing from a position of weakness, and they could not have any senior attackers in the squad by July 1.
Arteta has stated that he wants to keep Nketiah and Lacazette, but even if one – or both – do stay, they will still want significant additions.
Arsenal, like every other team in Europe, is desperate for forwards. That implies they have the upper hand in any negotiations: they may be tough and demand exorbitant rates.
The imminent threat of losing Dusan Vlahovic to Juventus might force Arsenal to be more resolute; their failure to sign the Serbian striker could have far-reaching ramifications.
Arsenal’s pursuit of Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus must be considered in this light.
The Gunners have spoken to Pep Guardiola’s side about a trade for Jesus, who knows Arteta from his stint as a coach at Man City.
Gabriel Jesus, who has been linked with a transfer to Arsenal, has previously informed Manchester City “what he wants.”
According to ESPN, the Gunners have been in communication with Pep Guardiola’s side about a possible move for the Brazilian striker, who has a £55 million price tag.
The north Londoners are said to think the price is too high since he may become a free agent in a year’s time, with his contract ending in the summer of 2023.
Mikel Arteta has acquired a tremendous appreciation for Jesus as a result of their time together at the Etihad.
Given Jesus’ contract expiring and the addition of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, it has been widely rumored that City are trying to cash in on him.
Jesus’ agent, Marcelo Pettinati, revealed that he loves Mikel Arteta’s concept and that he wants to move to the Emirates.
Due to his limited playing time this season, the attacker is weighing his options, which are likely to be hampered even more with the arrival of Haaland.In many ways, Jesus looks to be a good match.
He knows Arteta, and is apparently interested in joining the Arsenal project where he would be in front rather than second fiddle to Erling Haaland.
He is entering his prime at 25, and has plenty of experience, having scored 95 goals and provided 46 assists in 236 outings for Man City. Is he, though, worth £55 million?
Arsenal showed their willingness to spend money last summer, spending over £150 million on six new players.
But, while acquiring a top-flight striker is their primary priority right now, it is far from the only one, given the projected high churn of players in north London.
As a result, Jesus may make or break Arsenal’s transfer strategy. They’ll have made a significant statement of intent if they can land him early this summer for a modest transfer price.
Miss out on his signature, or overpay, and you risk derailing what are presumably well-laid plans.