While Arsenal are still waiting to make their first signing of the summer, it looks like there could be at least one deal in the works.
Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu face the daunting task of overhauling the squad after their unimpressive showing last season.
The Gunners finished eighth in the Premier League and failed to qualify for any of the three European competitions on offer.
The last time they missed out on European football altogether was 26 years ago, which says it all really.
This transfer window could well be a crossroads for Arteta’s tenure. He can ill-afford to get his recruitment wrong ahead of a season in which he needs to show serious improvement.
With that in mind, here’s Friday’s Arsenal transfer round-up with all the latest developments.
Arsenal bid for Buendia
Emi Buendia has been linked with Arsenal for some time now, but it looks like their interest is firming up.
Football.London reports that they have made an official offer for him over and above £30m.
So too have Aston Villa, however, which could see the two clubs battle it out for his services.
Buendia was one of Norwich’s standout performers last season as they bounced back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, registering 15 goals and 16 assists in the Championship.
Currently on international duty with Argentina, he is in line to make his senior debut for La Albiceleste. He is said to be torn between Arsenal and Villa, but the Gunners are confident they can convince him to move to the Emirates.
Schalke make Kolasinac decision
Sead Kolasinac will return to Arsenal this summer, with Schalke announcing that they cannot afford to keep him in light of their relegation from the Bundesliga.
Kolasinac was loaned back to Schalke in January, having spent six years at the club before moving to England. He was joined by fellow Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi, but they could do little to stop the Royal Blues sliding into the second tier for the first time in 30 years.
“On a sporting and personal front, it’s a painful decision to have to make,” said board member Peter Knabel, with fan favourite Klaas-Jan Huntelaar also on his way out of the club.
“Considering the current budget and squad structure – well known challenges that have been openly discussed – there was no alternative.”
Kolasinac has just over a year left on his current contract at Arsenal. He is unlikely to be reintegrated back into the squad, having made only a handful of appearances last season before his loan move.
Odegaard departure confirmed
Martin Odegaard is one of four senior men’s players who have officially been released by Arsenal, along with Dani Ceballos, David Luiz and Mat Ryan.
It doesn’t necessarily spell the end of his time at the Emirates, with a club statement noting: “All developments regarding players extending their contracts, joining [or] re-joining us or leaving us will be officially communicated as soon as they are confirmed.”
Nonetheless, it seems increasingly unlikely that Arsenal will be able to sign him permanently.
While Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival at Real Madrid has created a degree of uncertainty given his previous comments on Odegaard, Spanish newspaper ABC reports that he will look to reintegrate him into his squad.
As such, this could well be goodbye. Odegaard made 20 appearances in his four months at the club, scoring twice.
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