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Arsenal linked with EPL attacker and midfield ace

Arsenal linked with moves for highly-rated EPL attacker and midfielder as UCL berth looms

May 9, 2022 By Ali M.
Win at Tottenham this Thursday and the Gunners will secure their UEFA Champions League ticket. As a result, Arteta's side are already exploring some interesting transfer targets.

Arsenal's 2-1 win over Leeds on Sunday saw the Gunners move four points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham in the race to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. This has put Arteta's men in a strong position ahead of Thursday's North London Derby, as the fourth-placed visitors will secure a top four finish with a win at Spurs.

And as a result, transfer rumors have come pouring in, linking the Emirates Stadium side with an array of players who are only likely to join in the presence of UEFA Champions League football. Two names in particular standout as they are well-established Premier League aces as Mikel aims to strengthen his attack and midfield over the summer.

The first is none other than Youri Tielemans, the Leicester City star who is entering the final year of his King Power Stadium contract. The Belgian is reportedly keen on taking the next step in his career, having turned down an extension with Brendan Rodgers' side. As a result, a cut-price summer exit looks destined.

And according to David Ornstein of the Athletic, the 25-year-old is Arsenal's main target for the no.8 role, having made the switch from the 4-2-3-1 formation to a 4-3-3. Currently, Granit Xhaka occupies that new role and while the Swiss midfielder has been one of Arteta's main players in their unexpected top-four push, the former Borussia M'gladbach ace is not the ideal candidate.

While the Gunners have been in dialogue with the player and his agent for a few months now, they aren't the only club interested in the former Monaco talent. Tottenham are also in pursuit while Manchester United and Liverpool have been linked to the midfielder as well.

He isn't the only Premier League-proven player on the north London giants' radar, though. While it's no secret that Arteta is after a new striker, the club are also keen on a versatile winger who can preferably play on both flanks to either replace, compete with, or offer cover for the team's young wide players (Saka, Martinelli, and Smith Rowe). Here is where Raheem Sterling enters.

According to the Telegraph, Arsenal are "ready to explore a deal" for the English star who, just like Tielemans, will be entering the final year of his contract this summer. There is little to suggest he will sign a new deal, hence these rumors, as Arteta is reportedly keen on reuniting with the Three Lions ace.

Sterling is 27, meaning he is experienced enough to hit the ground running yet still has years ahead of him. Whether the Gunners can afford to pay a transfer fee and his wages is unknown, but what is clear is that a lot hinges on whether they qualify for the UEFA Champions League or not. Victory at Tottenham would secure that, but even a draw could suffice, as that would leave Saka and Co. needing only one win from their final two games against Newcastle and Everton. However, a defeat would see their lead over Spurs slashed to a single point, which would create a nervy end to the season.


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