Arsenal transfer news: January 2024 window targets, signings, sales as Zubimendi, Luiz and Toney linked

Mikel Arteta will be determined to learn lessons from last season as Arsenal aim for a strong run until the end of the 2023/24 across multiple competitions.

Injuries to key players, a lack of depth and experience led to dip in form at a crucial time, costing Arteta in the 2022/23 run-in, as Manchester City eventually edged them out of the Premier League title race.

That will be on the Basque coach’s mind as he plans for the January transfer window with the chance to bolster his squad to maintain challenges in the Premier League, FA Cup and the Champions League.

The Sporting News takes a look at Arsenal rumoured transfer targets and the potential of mid-season arrivals at the Emirates Stadium.

MORE: English Premier League table 2023/24: Updated EPL standings as Liverpool move above Arsenal

Arsenal ready to revive Martin Zubimendi transfer talks

Arteta has hinted at his desire to bring in a new midfielder in January with a potential revival in Arsenal’s long-standing interest in Real Sociedad star Martin Zubimendi.

Captain Martin Odegaard and club record transfer Declan Rice are undisputed starters in Arteta’s midfield, but there are still some lingering doubts over Kai Havertz’s suitability over a central role.

Arteta has also indicated his preference to sign a specialist midfielder after expressing concern over the hole left by Granit Xhaka’s departure to Bayer Leverkusen.

Granit Xhaka

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Arsenal’s position has been boosted by Barcelona dropping out of the race for Zubimendi, as per the Daily Express, with his release clause set at £52m/$65m, and La Real already securing a spot in the Champions League Round of 16 for 2024.

Real Sociedad will not consider anything less than his full exit clause, and they will be reluctant to lose such a key player in January, meaning Arteta may be forced to wait until the summer to make a move.

Douglas Luiz and Joao Palhinha as possible targets?

Areta could also look a little closer to home in his search for a new midfielder with fresh links to Fulham’s Joao Palhinha and Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz who are both impressing in the Premier League right now.

A push to convince Palhinha to move across London may appear to be straightforward, but the Portugal international is expected to be targeted once again by Bayern Munich in 2024.

Renowned transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano has hinted Arsenal will reach out to Fulham over Palhinha, with a possible £77m/$88m fee quoted to them by the Cottagers, with Luiz also on their radar.

Arteta is likely to come across some stubbornness from Fulham and Villa over selling important players mid-way through the season, but the interest in Luiz is ongoing despite Unai Emery’s determination to keep him at Villa Park.

Ivan Toney transfer price concern

The most intriguing transfer rumour concerning Arsenal going into the January window surrounds a possible swoop for Brentford star Ivan Toney.

Toney is currently suspended until mid-January following an FA ban over betting rule breaches and he is open to leaving the Bees for a new challenge.

Last season was the first time Arteta spent a significant amount in the January window as Arsenal forked out £50m/$62 to bring in Leandro Trossard, Jakub Kiwior and Jorginho.

However, a move for Toney would cost more than that figure combined, with The Metro claiming Brentford will demand £80m/$100m for the 27-year-old.

Numerous pundits and former players have raised concerns over Arsenal’s ability to score enough goals via their current attackers to mount a Premier League title push and Toney would lighten the burden on Gabriel Jesus.

Relations between Arsenal and Brentford are also strained, with Thomas Frank expressing his frustration at David Raya’s loan move to the Gunners, and a deal for Toney is only likely to emerge if the player himself pushes for it.

Which positions to Arsenal need to sign in January?

From an outside perspective, Arsenal do not need major changes in January, but Arteta could do with experienced reinforcements for the final months of the campaign.

William Saliba’s injury cost Arsenal last season, with Frenchman missing a key chunk of the run-in, but the defence looks covered, despite the injury absence of Jurrien Timber. Declan Rice and Thomas Partey can also play as emergency defenders and the versatility of Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kiwior is crucial.

Arteta may opt to hold off on bringing in a prime midfield target until the summer, but injury concerns over Fabio Vieira and Emile Smith-Rowe will be monitored.

Attack appears to be the key question mark for Arteta with Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Jesus his first choice attack. However, Saka and Martinelli will need to be rotated and Jesus’ ability to remain injury-free is a concern, with the level dropping if Trossard or Eddie Nketiah are drafted in for the Brazilian.

Bukayo Saka

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It will be a delicate balance for Arteta to bring a new forward into his squad at such an important juncture of the season, but he cannot afford to see Arsenal’s goals dry up, if City hit their stride.

Who could leave Arsenal in January?

Arteta has already quashed rumours of squad stars including Jorginho and Kiwior moving on, and it’s true that he needs his full squad available to fight against a packed schedule.

The majority of Arsenal’s charges look happy with their roles but the outlier to that is former No.1 Aaron Ramsdale.

Despite Arteta’s insistence that he intends to rotate between Raya and Ramsdale, the latter is the clearly first choice, leaving Ramsdale with a decision to make.

Arteta remains a fan of the former Sheffield United stopper, but with Ramsdale acutely aware of his status, he could ask the club to consider offers – with Nick Pope’s injury at Newcastle potentially opening up an option for the 25-year-old.

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