Arsenal planning ‘significant’ summer investment even without Champions League football – Paper Round

Arsenal planning summer spending spree

Arsenal still plan to spend big this summer, although they are unlikely to qualify for next season’s edition of the Champions League. The Telegraph reveal the Gunners are hoping to improve the roster and continue to target the same players. Prioritizing a forward, the club have Gabriel Jesus, Jonathan David, Tammy Abraham, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Moussa Dembele on their shortlist. Elsewhere, Youri Tielemans, Ruben Neves and Florian Grillitsch are touted as midfield options, while Scotsman Aaron Hickey has been identified as a potential full-back.

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Paper Round opinion: Arsenal will rely on their reputation, recruiting team and manager Mikel Arteta to pull the strings on their summer spending spree. Your targets must be convinced of the project in North London. The Gunners are so close to a top four finish with a young and exciting squad, which could help in the negotiations. However, it’s likely that players like Jesus, Tielemans and Neves would want to join clubs playing in the Champions League. The club will have to make deep shortlists in case they fail to sign their top targets if they miss the top 4 this Sunday.

Arsenal offered the world champion centre-back

Arsenal are being offered the opportunity to sign Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti this summer. The world champion defender is no longer wanted at the Camp Nou and Arsenal have long been admirers of Umtiti. The Star state that Barcelona are hoping Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta could fancy a hit against Umtiti given recent defensive performances that have seen the Gunners drop out of the top four in the Premier League. The report shows Arsenal will be in the defensive depth market despite William Saliba returning from loan at Marseille.

Paper Round opinion: Arsenal’s defensive depth just isn’t good enough for their goals of reaching the top four and it has shown. The Gunners were embarrassed in the north London derby after Rob Holding – who only started due to Ben White’s injury – was sent off in the first half. As well as Holding, there’s Saliba, who doesn’t seem to be favored by Arteta – despite just being named Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year. Adding Umtiti is decent on paper but the Frenchman is a shadow of himself. Can’t be trusted to stay fit – that would be a waste of money for the Gunners.

Man City are looking to sign the Brighton defender

According to the Mail, Manchester City have identified Brighton defender Marc Cucurella as the ideal signing to solve his problems at left-back. The 23-year-old only joined the Seaside club from Getafe last summer but has attracted the attention of City boss Pep Guardiola. The Mail say the Premier League leaders would have to pay around £30million for Cucurella – about double what the Seagulls paid for him last year.

Paper Round opinion: Cucurella has had a spectacular debut season in England. Brighton are nearing a top-half finish and the Spaniard has played a big part in the Seagulls’ success. Cucurella graduated from Barcelona’s famous academy La Masia which makes it easy to see why Guardiola is keen to sign him. The 51-year-old is a fan of his footballing abilities but his Barcelona background will encourage Guardiola to understand his personality and character as the city manager is linked with the Catalan club.

West Ham want the Watford striker

West Ham United are considering a £20million summer offer for Watford striker Emmanuel Dennis, according to the Mirror. The east London club are ready to back manager David Moyes in the transfer market after a successful season which saw West Ham reach the semi-finals of the Europa League. Watford are relegated to the Championship and Dennis is keen to stay in England so the Hammers are keen to capitalize on the situation. The Hornets are set to ask up to £30m for the Nigerian striker, who is also wanted by Newcastle United.

Paper Round opinion: West Ham are in dire need of a striker. The Hammers have relied heavily all season on Mikhail Antonio – who is not a natural centre-forward – to play up front. Dennis has looked very well for a struggling Watford side throughout the current season. There is no doubt that a player of his talent belongs in the Premier League. Dennis is only 24 and has shown plenty of potential to become an exciting goalscorer in England’s top flight. West Ham can offer him European football next season – which should be enough to convince him to join.

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