Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta's mission to reduce his squad wage bill is well and truly underway – and it could go even further this summer.
With the Gunners signing younger players in recent transfer windows and cutting ties with older stars on higher salaries, Arsenal have built a squad that feels hungrier and more competitive. Now, the Mirror (opens in new tab) has suggested that the Gunners may get rid of another three stars, in addition to the outgoing Alexandre Lacazette.
Current stand-in captain Lacazette is expected to depart this summer, having failed to agree an extension to his contract. Bernd Leno, Nicolas Pepe and Mohamed Elneny could all also leave, too.
This would free up a whopping £25m in wages – equivalent to almost £500,000 a week. With the Gunners looking to reinforce their squad, this could be invaluable.
The first point of call would be a new contract for star man Bukayo Saka, who Arteta is keen to tie down for even longer. Saka penned a new deal in 2020 but has since developed even since then into one of the most sought-after wingers in world football.
Links to big-name players like Serge Gnabry and Joao Felix mean that the north Londoners may well splash out for expensive new stars, too. The added wage budget would certainly accommodate that.
"We are going to have some contracts that are ending in the summer and we are going to have to make a decision regarding where we are and we have the option to do that," Arteta recently said.
"We have players on loan that we are developing as well to understand where they can be and how much of a contribution they can have in the squad and obviously we are going to have to sign players in the summer, that's without a question of a doubt.
"That's something that we discuss here internally, with [director] Edu personally all the time, with the team. You have to raise those ideas and the vision you have towards the owners, which are completely in line and they have been extremely supportive with us."
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. Over his time on the brand, he has interviewed the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Jack Wilshere, written pieces ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career, and has been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals, working for FFT.
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