Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta had three transfer dreams before coronavirus crisis

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta had three transfer priorities before the coronavirus crisis struck, reports say. The Spaniard will look to strengthen the Gunners this summer, knowing they require more if they’re to secure a return to the Champions League. But things have been made tougher because of the pandemic currently causing chaos around the world.

Arsenal named Arteta as manager in December, giving interim boss Freddie Ljungberg a different role following the departure of Unai Emery.

He’s managed to steady the ship at the Gunners but they still remain a long way off the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.

Arsenal are facing a difficult transfer window because of the coronavirus crisis, with the north London giants hit hard financially.

Analysis by the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust shows they’re set for a loss of £19million for the year ending May 2020.

Before the pandemic, they were reportedly on course for a small profit of £4m – but that’s no longer the case.

Arsenal have had to refund supporters for the final four remaining home Premier League matches of the season.

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And there’s also been a drop in commercial and retail revenue, with Arsenal likely to lose £144m for the year 2020-21 should all games next season be played behind closed doors.

And Goal say that, before the coronavirus crisis, Arsenal had been hoping to sign a centre-back, box-to-box midfielder and a right-back.

Now, though, the pandemic means Arteta may have to switch his focus.

Arsenal will see Willy Saliba link up with the first team in the summer, having agreed to sign the centre-back from Saint-Etienne a year ago.

But they still wanted another defender to play alongside the 19-year-old, who is highly-rated behind the scenes.

Arsenal were seemingly planning to sign a box-to-box midfielder in order to replace Dani Ceballos, who is primed to return to Real Madrid.

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And a right-back was being eyed, too, with Cedric Soares’s future uncertain.

Cedric could actually be signed as a free agent come the end of the campaign, with Southampton set to lose the Portugal international.

But it appears Arsenal’s hopes of a fruitful summer have been ended by the pandemic – and Arteta could suffer for it.

Meanwhile, Arsenal legend Kevin Campbell recently urged the club to sign Jack Grealish – and get Mesut Ozil off the books in the process.

“Arsenal need an all-rounder in midfield,” he said.

“Arsenal need someone in the middle of the pitch who not only can create, he can break the play up, but he’s got legs, we miss that. We’ve been a strong spine for years.

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“There was talk of should we go for Jack Grealish or James Maddison, these type of guys would improve Arsenal.

“No disrespect to Mesut Ozil, but Ozil is on the wrong side of his Arsenal career with a year left on his contract after this.

“But we need someone who’s going to be in there with legs, we need creativity, and someone that when the game’s not going particularly well, he can get stuck in and knuckle down as well.

“We’re being shown up by the likes of Sheffield United, Chris Wilder who has done a fantastic job there, they haven’t got the quality that Arsenal have but they’re above us in the league.

“Why? Because they’ve got a system and they fight, grab and battle, and they’ve got some quality there as well. If we can’t match these teams, we don’t deserve to be up there.”

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