The truth about James Maddison to Arsenal, Tammy Abraham transfer links and Granit Xhaka
All the very latest from Arsenal discussed by chief Gunners correspondent, Chris Wheatley, in a Q&A with supporters
Arsenal are making strides to complete the planned overhaul of their squad this summer.
The Gunners missed out on European football for the first time in 25 years last season after finishing eighth in the Premier League, and because of that poor performance, the club have been making moves in the transfer market.
After announcing the signings of Nuno Tavares from Benfica, as well as Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht, the club are well on their way to forming Mikel Arteta’s new-look Arsenal side.
However, their summer business isn’t going to end there as plenty more incomings, as well as outgoings, are expected.
Our Arsenal correspondent Chris Wheatley covered all you need to know in his Q&A with supporters on Friday.
We have rounded up the key points from that below.
Q . Now Arsenal have extended Emile Smith Rowe’s contract, some reports have suggested that Arsenal are putting James Maddison talk on the back-burner, is that the case?
A. The problem with the James Maddison transfer since the links surfaced is the fee.
Arsenal like the player, Mikel Arteta likes James Maddison, but the biggest issue is the fee which is going to be in excess of £60million.
I think Arsenal can afford him after player sales which we haven’t seen many of so far. I think Granit Xhaka is very close. I know we’ve been saying that for the past month but he is very close to joining Roma and I think once that goes through Arsenal will have some money at least to replenish that central midfield area.
I can’t see James Maddison being a priority until those player sales go through.
Q. Will Arsenal have to move strikers on before approaching Chelsea for Tammy Abraham?
A. I’m not personally convinced by those Tammy Abraham links.
There’s nothing really concrete there with Abraham at the moment. It wouldn’t surprise me if he goes to another Premier League team.
Arsenal have plenty of forwards and I don’t see Abraham being a priority at this stage of the window.
Eddie Nketiah is a player who is likely to be sold, we know for sure that Arsenal want to sell Nketiah this summer.
Q. Could Ramsdale be Leno’s number two next season?
A. We know that Arsenal have switched their attentions to a homegrown goalkeeper after having initial talks with Ajax over Andre Onana.
Arsenal want Ramsdale but £30million is a very steep fee to spend on him. I don’t think they’re going to go that far. I think they will go to £20-25million maybe but £30million is very high.
Q. Granit Xhaka is leaving, Willock could be on his way out, what is the latest with the central midfield situation at Arsenal?
A. Locatelli is probably off the cards despite Arsenal’s clear interest. It did look as though from the start that Sassuolo were using Arsenal as a pawn to drive up the price with Juve not keen on paying full price for him. That one looks like it’s almost done in terms of Locatelli to Juve.
Ruben Neves is certainly high up on that shortlist likely to replace Granit Xhaka.
Xhaka has now finished his holiday, he’s ready to move to Roma. I think it's just a matter of the final details on the fee, the paperwork. We’ve been saying it for a while but Xhaka wants to go, Arsenal want him gone and that’s just a matter of time. So, yeah, I think Arsenal are going to get that central midfield area sorted.
Willock, a loan move to Newcastle is the most likely option.
Q. Has Arsenal’s interest cooled on Bissouma?
A. I don’t there was ever any firm interest to be cooled. There was interest in January when the contact was made with his representative but since then there hasn’t been anything really concrete.
It’s fairly clear that he’s not on the top of the list to replace Granit Xhaka.
A. I think Italy is the most likely destination for him but we’re gonna have to wait and see on that one. I haven’t heard anything concrete in the last few weeks but it’s clear his long-term future doesn’t lie with Arsenal.