ARSENAL are planning the biggest spend in their history – with a budget of up to £180m on summer signings.
Billionaire owner Stan Kroenke wants to show his faith in manager Mikel Arteta by providing funding for a major roster upgrade.
Forwards Alexander Isak and Dominic Calvert-Lewin plus midfielder Ruben Neves have all been identified as the young players needed to take the Gunners to the next level.
But Arteta knows he will need to secure a Champions League spot this season if he is to achieve those top goals.
The shock of leaving on the last day of star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Barcelona leaving Arsenal with just 20 senior players for their battle to secure a top four finish.
Former Arsenal captain Auba, who has been blocked by Arteta since mid-December after a disciplinary breach, insists he is “proud and happy” to join the Catalan giants, but admits his farewell to Arsenal his “pain”.
Arsenal are believed to have paid a sum of around £7m to terminate the Gabonese striker’s £350,000-a-week contract with Emirates to allow him to move to Barca.
The LaLiga club finally confirmed the deal yesterdaywith Aubameyang signing a three-year contract with an 18-month release clause – and a buyout clause set at £83.4m.
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Auba stated: “I am very proud, especially since my family is Hispanic from my mother’s side.
“I’m really proud and happy to be here and I’ll try to give everything.”
Earlier, he sent a farewell message to Arsenal fans via social networks.
“Thank you for making London home to me and my family over the past four years,” he said.
“Your support means a lot to me.
“Having the opportunity to win trophies and the honor of being captain of this club is something I will forever have in my heart.
“I am always 100 per cent focused and committed to doing everything I can for this club, which is why leaving without a goodbye is really painful.
“I’m sad that I haven’t had the chance to help my teammates over the past few weeks, but I have nothing but respect for this club and really wish all the boys and my fans well. many years of success in the future.”
Arteta supervised a clearly big in his two years in charge This has helped the club cut their annual salary bill.
Aubameyang’s departure alone will save them around £20m, yet former striker Ian Wright was sad to see him go.
I am devastated it comes to this with Auba
He told his Wrighty’s House podcast: “I’m so disappointed this is happening to Auba because he was made for Arsenal.
“I don’t know what happened between him and Mikel, but I think it will work out because just a year ago Auba signed that new contract.
“If there’s something wrong with what he’s doing, there’s some misdemeanor for the manager to say ‘let’s not sign him because he’s doing this or that. ‘
“If they knew he was doing things they didn’t like, why would they sign him up for such a large sum and then a year later he’s gone?”
“None of the current players is a proven striker like Aubameyang.”
Arteta was given the green light to splurge again after spending £150m last summer on Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Albert Sami Lokonga and Nuno Tavares.
The success of those six newcomers convinced American billionaire Kroenke Arsenal to finally be on the right track after five years of Champions League exile.
But none of the potential rookies will come cheap.
Real Sociedad’s Isak buyout clause is £75m, Calvert-Lewin is valued at £60m by Everton and Neves is valued at £45m for Wolves.
But with Alex Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah and Mohamed Elneny all set to leave on free form at the end of the season, Arsenal are facing a serious shortage in numbers.
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They have not completely ruled out the prospect of offering a 12-month contract extension with Lacazette, but know that Lyon are preparing to offer their former striker a long-term contract.
William Saliba, Pablo Mari and Folarin Balogun are expected to return to the club when their current loan deals expire at the end of the season.
But they are hoping to rake in around £70m by selling other loan players such as Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Hector Bellerin, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson, Alex Runarsson and Konstantinos Mavropanos.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4599938/arsenal-transfer-isak-calvert-lewin-neves-arteta/ Arsenal set for biggest transfer EVER with Isak, Calvert-Lewin and Neves keen for £180m summer renovation