‘With the position we are in it demands another level’: Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal’s surge to the Premier League summit means they will now target BETTER players in the January transfer window
- Arsenal have had an excellent start to the season and sit top of the standings
- Mikel Arteta will be looking to strengthen his side during the January window
- He admits their fast start has led to a rethink on their January transfer plans
Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal’s flying start has altered their plans for the January transfer window, with the manager suggesting the table toppers must now target signings of an even higher calibre.
‘With the position we are in right now… it demands another level of player,’ Arteta said on Wednesday.
Arteta, whose side sit two points clear of Manchester City, wants to add to his squad in January with a winger believed to the club’s No 1 priority. Orlando City’s Facundo Torres and Mykhaylo Mudryk of Shakhtar Donetsk are two possible targets.
Mikel Arteta says fast-starting Arsenal have had to alter their January transfer window plans
Arsenal have made an excellent start to the season and sit top of the table after 13 games
Arsenal are keen to sign a winger with Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykhaylo Mudryk a possible target
Arsenal are also working to secure new deals for Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba. Speaking ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash with Zurich, Arteta revealed talks are in ‘a good place’.
The winter World Cup was always going to complicate contract negotiations, and preparation for the January window.
But Arsenal’s brilliant start has now also caused a slight rethink.
Arteta says the January transfer window is ‘difficult’ but that they ‘will look at everything’
‘The planning of that period is extremely difficult. First of all because we know the January window, how special it is, the opportunities that you have, the short window that you have. Once you get the player they are straight away competing, so there is not an adaption process,’ Arteta said.
‘And obviously with the position that we are in right now as well, it demands as well another level of player – and that player has to be available. We will look at everything and let’s see what we can do.’
Arsenal have already secured defender Gabriel to a new, long-term deal, with Saliba, Martinelli and Saka now in talks over improved terms.
Arsenal are working to secure new deals for the likes of Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka
Leaders Arsenal are in a strong position to qualify for next season’s Champions League
All three players are 21 and the club do have an option to extend their current contracts. Both Saka’s and Saliba’s deals run to 2023 with a 12-month option, while Martinelli’s expires in 2024 (with a two-year option).
Arteta is relaxed even if negotiations continue beyond the World Cup.
‘The contract has to be signed when all parties are happy, are committed and are determined to do that,’ he said. ‘And the timing sometimes is determined by moments, by feelings, by individual circumstances and you have to put all that together and make it happen. But I think we are in a good place.’
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