Arsenal fear they will be unable to match Raheem Sterling’s wage demands as the Gunners explore ways of financing a move for the Manchester City forward.
Sterling, 27, is entering the final year of his deal at the Etihad and he admitted earlier this season that he would be open to a departure.
Mikel Arteta is determined to strengthen his attack in the summer, particularly as Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah look set to depart when their contracts expire.
Arteta worked with Sterling for three years when he served as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at the Etihad and he’s been credited for much of the forward’s improvement in front of goal since he joined City, with the Spaniard tasked with working one-on-one with Sterling to improve his finishing and run-making.
Guardiola will not keep any player that is not fully committed to the club and is therefore open to selling Sterling.
However, while Arsenal could afford a transfer fee for Sterling should they finish in the top four, the forward’s £300,000-a-week wages are proving a stumbling block.
The Evening Standard claim the club fear his salary demands could scupper any chances of a move and they are wary of breaking their wage structure, having recently significantly reduced it by discarding of Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Arsenal also retain a strong interest in Sterling’s City team-mate, Gabriel Jesus.
Jesus’ agent, Marcelo Pettinati, revealed on Wednesday that he’s held talks with Arsenal over a move to the Emirates but they’re just one option for the Brazilian.
‘We had discussions with Arsenal about Gabriel Jesus and yes, we like the project,’ Pettinati told Fabrizio Romano.
‘It’s a serious possibility so we’re discussing.
‘There are six more clubs interested in Gabriel Jesus, he’s now focused on final games with Manchester City, then we’ll see what happens.’
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