Arsenal have lofty ambitions this season and beyond and could be busy in the summer transfer market having not signed anyone during the January window with Ivan Toney and Martin Zubimendi linked
Arsenal’s preparations for West Ham are well underway at London Colney as they look to continue their Premier League challenge.
The Gunners could be under pressure at the London Stadium on Sunday with both Liverpool and Manchester City playing 24 hours before against Burnley and Everton respectively. Mikel Arteta’s men will be fully focused on three points with just two currently separating them from the top of the table.
That does not prevent speculation ahead of the summer transfer window from emerging. The north London side will hope to be a persisent threat in a title challenge.
As such, Mirror Football takes a look at the latest news to emerge from the Emirates.
Ivan Toney latest
Brentford boss Thomas Frank has admitted that Ivan Toney is likely to depart this summer. The striker has been widely linked to both Arsenal and Chelsea despite missing most of the season due to a ban after breaching FA betting rules.
Toney has hit the ground running upon his return however and scored twice in his opening three appearances. The 27-year-old will have just a single year on his contract remaining come the summer.
Frank said: “It’s quite obvious that Ivan Toney will most likely be sold in the summer. It can be expensive to sell your best player, but on the other hand, I also know that by summer, he’ll only have a year left on his contract with us. We also know what he’s worth. I don’t think there are many strikers in the world who are better than him right now.
“He’s a really good striker who is in his prime footballing age. Personally, as a coach, I would prefer to keep Toney, but one day it could be fun to see him at a top team. This winter, we actually had no bids for him, but it would surprise me if there aren’t a lot of clubs interested in him.”
Click for the latest Ivan Toney transfer news
It is not the first time this year that Martin Zubimendi’s name has been mentioned in the same breath as Arsenal. The Real Sociedad midfielder is on the Gunners’ list for the summer but has yet to have his head turned as he focuses on his side’s campaign in La Liga and the Champions League.
Arsenal could look to strengthen their midfield in the summer months. Jorginho current will see his contract end while Thomas Partey has fewer than 18 months on his deal.
However, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano says that any suggestion Arsenal already have groundwork in place, is wide of the mark. He explained in his column: “At the moment, there is nothing more than this as Zubimendi only wants to focus on Real Sociedad and he loves his club.
“He is fully focused on La Liga and the Champions League, with no distraction at all. It will take time, there is nothing for February or March, despite some talk that Arsenal have already been ‘laying the groundwork’ for this deal.”
Jurrien Timber frustration
Arsenal defender Jurrien Timber made it just 50 minutes into his Premier League career before a knee injury ruled him out of action. The former Ajax man has not played a minute since August but did join the Gunners’ training camp in Dubai in January.
The 22-year-old was named the club’s Champions League squad for the second half of the campaign and Timber hopes he can make a positive impact when he is able to return.
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website he said: “Of course at some points it’s been difficult, because you’re not playing, and that’s the thing you love to do. Sometimes you really want to join the team – when you are enjoying the game so much you really want to get down there and be part of it.
“That’s frustrating, because sometimes it looks so amazing you want to be part of it. But I use that as motivation during my recovery.
“I see the boys a lot, at the training ground but also at the games, and that’s been good for me too. These months will definitely make me stronger. It’s an opportunity for me to do well. So even though I’m not playing, I can take this moment to become stronger mentally, physically, and also to feel at home with this group of boys.
“It’s an opportunity I’ve taken with both hands. I’ve had some more time to watch the team, see how we play, how I can fit in when I get on the pitch, so looking at the positives, I think there have been many.”
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