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Mikel Arteta: 'We cannot afford big-money signings'

:Headline: Mikel Arteta: 'We cannot afford big-money signings':
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta warns Gunners fans not to expect major big-money signings in the summer transfer window.
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted that the Gunners will not be able to break the bank on one or two marquee players in the summer transfer window.

The Gunners are expected to prepare for another significant summer of change with regards to the squad, particularly in the forward areas with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah both set to leave as free agents.

Qualification for the Champions League would help to boost Arsenal's coffers, and Arteta's side currently sit two points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur in the table before Sunday's fixtures commence.

A plethora of attacking targets have already been mooted after Arsenal missed out on the signature of Dusan Vlahovic in January, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Gabriel Jesus and Darwin Nunez all mentioned.

Arsenal have supposedly already agreed to sign Manchester City's Jesus in a £42m deal, but Arteta has warned Gooners not to expect his side to fork out mammoth fees on one player like Liverpool did for Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk.

"I don't think we are in a position where we can do that, so we have to find other ways to do it," Arteta told Sky Sports News when questioned on Liverpool's big-money defensive signings.

"Liverpool, as well, have improved their players immensely, which is as important as bringing players in. And then, the ones that you buy, [it's important] that they can have an impact straight away.

"That's a big decision they have to make in recruitment, and then they are human beings as well. They have to adapt, and sometimes that's a tricky question to answer before they are actually here.

"We want to make the squad stronger, we want to make the starting XI stronger, we want to make the specificity and the personality of our players stronger, and that's what we are going to be seeking to do.

"It will depend on many factors - how many players are back from their loans, with the commitments we still have with them; our financial position in relation to where we finish; the clubs' demands when we want to buy players or sell players. There are a lot of question marks there, but this is football."

A new central midfielder could also be on the agenda for Arsenal with Mohamed Elneny now less than two months away from becoming a free agent, but the Egypt international has impressed with showings against Chelsea and Manchester United in the past couple of weeks.

Elneny has confirmed his desire to sign a new contract at Arsenal, even if he remains a bit-part player under Arteta, who has also admitted that the ex-Basel man does not always get the credit he feels he deserves.

Kieran Tierney's long-term injury and Nuno Tavares's hit-and-miss campaign could also lead Arsenal to move for a new left-back in the summer market, and Bologna's Aaron Hickey is also thought to be on their wanted list.

However, the Scottish teenager - who supposedly possesses a €20m (£16.7m) price tag - is also rumoured to have attracted interest from Italian heavyweights Juventus, AC Milan and Napoli ahead of the summer window.

Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Hector Bellerin, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Pablo Mari could also head elsewhere following the completion of their loan deals, but William Saliba is understood to have decided against a permanent move to Marseille as he fights for his spot in the defence alongside Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes.

Arsenal could temporarily drop out of the top four if Tottenham get the better of Leicester City on Sunday but will attempt to usurp their North London rivals when they meet West Ham United later in the day. body check tags ::

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