Arsenal’s three-point plan for Deadline Day including midfielder signing

Arsenal have had a productive transfer window, bringing in the likes of Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille and Willian from Chelsea.

But there is a feeling the Gunners are not finished yet. With the deadline just hours away, there is hope that a midfielder will be signed, while Arsenal might also look to move on a couple of players.

It seems increasingly likely that any remaining business will go down to the final few hours. That is generally how negotiations play out at this stage of the transfer window.

Here, then, we take a look at Arsenal’s three-point plan for Deadline Day.

Sign a midfielder

Arsenal’s prime target appeared to be Houssem Aouar, but Lyon on Saturday announced the 22-year-old is staying put.

The Ligue 1 side had reportedly set a deadline of Friday for negotiations over the potential sale of the midfielder to be completed. That has now passed and Lyon look set to keep hold of their prized asset for the time being.

Perhaps the French club could still be persuaded with a last-minute bid, though it seems Arsenal will have to look elsewhere to strengthen in that area of the pitch.

Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey has been repeatedly linked with a move to the Emirates, but he would not fill the creative role in Arsenal’s midfield. Still, he is a gifted player and has different strengths to offer.

Missing out on Aouar might encourage Mikel Arteta to focus instead on the signing of Partey.

“I am very confident with what we are trying to do internally,” Arteta said on Friday. “The clarity from everyone in the club most importantly to get balance in the squad.

“We need to make some decisions in the next three days. I think everything has been delayed so much.

“But we will try to make the best possible decisions and at the end whatever we have, we go for it fully convinced and prepared to have a good season.”

Sell fringe players

Arsenal, if they hope to make a big-money signing on deadline day, may need to move on players considered surplus to requirements.

Lucas Torreira is on the verge of joining Atletico Madrid on loan, and that could help with a potential deal for Partey. The Uruguayan’s exit might be done before deadline day, too, which would give Arsenal time to focus on other possible sales.

Bayer Leverkusen are reportedly interested in Sead Kolasinac, while Matteo Guendouzi, Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi could all depart if Arsenal find suitors for them by the end of play on Monday.

Whatever happens, cutting loose some of the deadwood will provide some much-needed “balance”, as Arteta put it.

Keep hold of in-demand players

Arsenal don’t seem at huge risk of losing their most valuable players. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the one major concern, but his new contract means he is now to stay at the club.

There has been talk of interest in Hector Bellerin, with Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain both linked with the Spaniard. That story has gone quiet over the last couple of weeks, but a late bid can’t be ruled out.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, too, has been the subject of reported interest from Manchester United, and given his recent form Areta will be keen to make sure he goes nowhere.

Arsenal should be able to ensure there are no nasty surprises on deadline day, even if they have players that other clubs could look to prise away.

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