Arsenal and Mikel Arteta have drawn up a three man midfielder shortlist as they look to strengthen their ranks this winter in a bid to win their first Premier League title since 2004.
The Gunners currently sit 5 points clear at the top of the Premier League table ahead of the season resuming on Boxing Day, but questions have been asked of the strength of their squad beyond the first XI.
Injury to Gabriel Jesus, who is expected to be sidelined until March, has brought this into greater focus, and the north Londoners are expected to chase a forward this January, with Mykhailo Mudryk seemingly their first choice.
But they are also after a midfielder, with Thomas Partey’s fitness continuing to prove unreliable and Mohammed Elneny an uninspiring deputy, while further forward there is no obvious replacement in the side for Granit Xhaka.
They saw three bids for Douglas Luiz turned down on deadline day, and Mikel Arteta has once again suggested that they will look to strengthen this January.
“We are going to be active and active means we are looking to strengthen the team,” the Gunners boss explained. “This squad still doesn’t have the luxury of not maximising every single window. We have to do that because it’s really important”.
“But then we have to get the right profile, it has to be the right player to take us to the next level. We will be in the market always active and we will assess the biggest opportunities that we have.”
Trio eyed up
And, as per Spanish outlet Fichajes, Mikel Arteta and Edu Gaspar have identified three players to turn their attentions to this January.
The Gunners are expected to once again test the waters for Youri Tielemans, with the Leicester City midfielder out of contract in the summer and set to leave for free.
Meanwhile, they have also been linked with a move for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, who started the World Cup final for France. With the Turin side in financial difficulties, players could be available on the cheap and, like Tielemans, Rabiot is out of contract this summer.
Finally, the Gunners are also eyeing up a move for World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister, who caught the eye for Argentina following a series of impressive performances, though Brighton have no intention of parting ways with the midfielder this January.
He is under contract at the AMEX until 2025, and the Seagulls are in no hurry to sell, meaning that it would likely cost a fee in excess of those paid for Ben White or Marc Cucurella to tempt them to come to the negotiating table.