With the January transfer window approaching, one of the areas Arsenal could be busy in is midfield. This is particularly the case in the defensive midfield position where the Gunners are starting to look towards the future.
Declan Rice was signed in the summer for a club record £105million and has impressed in his early months at the club. Beyond him though, Mohamed Elneny, Jorginho and Thomas Partey are all over the age of 30 and could move on soon.
Elneny is out of contract in the summer. Although he has expressed a desire to stay and finish his career with Arsenal extension talks have not yet begun. The same goes for Jorginho whose current deal is due to expire at the end of this season. Arsenal do retain the option to extend the Italian’s contract by a further 12 months, and are expected to address
the issue after the January transfer window.
Partey meanwhile will have just 18 months remaining on his contract next month. Arsenal were open to selling the 30-year-old over the start of the summer, but when appropriate offers did not emerge, the decision was taken to keep him. The Ghanaian international has struggled with injury this season, and talks have not been open over fresh terms.
With this in mind, Arsenal have begun to think about the long-term status of the position. Martin Zubimendi is one of several options football.london understands they are looking at. The Gunners’ list is also thought to include Douglas Luiz.
A deal for Zubimendi appears difficult in January however. The Spanish international has a £53million release clause, but he has expressed no desire to leave Real Sociedad. The Txuri-Urdin’s progression to the Champions League round of 16 may well have hardened that stance. Arsenal would also need to fend off competition from a number of other rival suitors including Barcelona.
A deal for Luiz would also be tricky in January. The Brazilian is someone Arsenal bid £25million for on transfer deadline day last summer. It would take a significantly higher fee to convince Aston Villa to sell next month though given Unai Emery’s unexpected push for the Premier League’s top four.
Further forward in midfield Arsenal are relatively well-stocked. Emile Smith Rowe was linked with a move late on in the summer transfer window, but the Gunners have made it clear to potential suitors that they have no intentions of letting the 23-year-old go unless an unrefusable offer comes in. Fabio Vieira is also likely to complete his comeback from groin surgery next month which should leave Arsenal well stocked in the attacking midfield positions with Kai Havertz and Martin Odegaard both in great form, while Leandro Trossard remains an option there.
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