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Football Reporting


Arteta reveals Arsenal’s January transfer plans as several Emirates exits expected

The Gunners boss says the numbers in his squad are unsustainable and must be reduced before any new faces arrive

Mikel Arteta admits that Arsenal can’t repeat the mistakes they made in the summer and must find a way of moving players on before they can add to their squad during the upcoming transfer window.

The Gunners are hopeful of strengthening in January, with Real Madrid star Isco a loan target.

However, failure to get players out the door during the summer left Arteta with such a bloated squad that Mesut Ozil and Sokratis were not even registered to play in the Premier League due to the non-homegrown rules.

That is an issue Arteta admits must now be resolved, with the Spaniard describing the current number of players he has at his disposal as unsustainable.

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“We have a large squad, we know that,” said the Gunners boss. “A lot of things that should have happened in the summer, we could not accomplish for different reasons.

“There are some players that are going to go on loan, they are going to leave, and that’s the priority at the moment because we can’t sustain the numbers that we have in certain positions.

“We are looking to do that and then we well see. If we have the right opportunity in the positions that we need some more help, we are working with the club to try to address that.”

Arteta added: “Financially it’s not only us, it’s every single club in the Premier League that’s been hit. We know that this is not going to change in the next year or so and we are going to have to add somehow if we want to improve the team in different ways.

“Financially, some sort of support will decide whether it is with loans or buying players in relation to the opportunities that we have in the market.”

The first player to leave during the transfer window could be Sead Kolasinac, who is close to joining former club Schalke on loan.

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Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi, William Saliba and Calum Chambers could follow, although Mesut Ozil is expected to remain in north London until the end of the season.

When asked about Kolasinac’s imminent exit, Arteta said: “I can’t confirm anything yet, we are working on a couple of things. The window is going to bring a lot of news, some are true, some are not. Whenever we have something to say, we will announce it.

“There are some conversations around a few players and whether we can find some loans because the numbers we have in the squad at the moment are really big. But we cannot confirm anything yet.”

One player who has been heavily linked with a move away is Reiss Nelson, with many speculating that a move has already been lined up given he has not featured for Arsenal since the win against Rapid Vienna on December 3.

Arteta, however, insists that is not the case and that the 21-year-old’s absence has be down to an injury issue.

“Probably it’s my mistake not to clarify the situation and what was happening,” said the Gunners boss. “He’s not been 100% fit, that’s the reason he’s been out and has not been featuring around the squad.

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“He had a little niggle, a muscular issue, he’s been in and out of training. It’s a shame because I felt he’s been getting into his [top] performance levels and he had started to have some really good games and was starting to build that momentum.

“This little injury has stepped him back a little bit, but I think this week he’s been much better.”

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