Gabriel Jesus has emerged as a summer target for Mikel Arteta and sporting director Edu with Arsenal the current favourites to recruit the Manchester City striker
The Gunners are on the lookout for a new striker this summer after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s exit to Barcelona in January, while Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette, who are both out of contract in the summer, are set to follow suit. That would leave the north Londoners with no recognised no.9s on their books which means it’s a priority that they invest in their frontline in the upcoming window, possibly making multiple additions.
To that end, Jesus has emerged as a summer target for Mikel Arteta, according to The Athletic, with discussions between Arsenal’s technical director Edu and Jesus’s representatives ongoing for a number of months. The report states that the Gunners are the current favourites to recruit him given Arteta’s relationship with Jesus previously working with him at City.
The 25-year-old is thought to be open to the prospect of joining Arsenal given his limited game-time this season which is likely to be hindered even further with the proposed arrival of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund. Jesus’ current deal runs out in 2023, which means Pep Guardiola’s men could look to cash in on the Brazilian to avoid the risk of him leaving for free the following summer, although negotiations are yet to begin between the two clubs.
The Athletic reported on Tuesday that Norwegian talisman Haaland has agreed on a move to the Etihad Stadium and it’s believed the striker’s representatives have reached an initial agreement with City over personal terms.
Meanwhile, Lacazette looks to be one player heading for the Arsenal exit door after he admitted this week that he was in talks with several sides. “I am in discussions with a lot of clubs,” Lacazette told Canal Plus. “I am open… I have never cut contact with Lyon since I left. I try to return to the club once or twice a year to see the medical staff because we are really close. Lyon knows that I am free, they have come to the information.”
“It’s a bit more complicated”, added Lacazette. “I want to play in Europe, it’s been a long time since I played in the Champions League, I’m missing it. It’s a little more complicated, nothing is impossible in life, but it’s a little more complicated.”
When Mikel Arteta was asked about what he wants from a future striker last month, he said: “He puts the ball in the net, that’s priority number one. Goal threat. Any successful team needs enough goal threat in the squad. Without it, you have nothing.
“You can play good football but you need enough goal threat in the team. The other thing is that he has to complement the other people we have, personally and on the pitch, and for that, we need the right profile.
“We need a profile where you can exploit his qualities at the same time as the qualities we already have, so we don’t have to transform our way of playing again to adapt to that specific player. He has to have a certain age, a certain level of experience, and he has to be able to come here and play under the pressure of being at Arsenal.”