Arsenal close to completing deal but Mikel Arteta hit with striker transfer blow

The latest Arsenal transfer news and rumours as Mikel Arteta looks to add to his squad during the January window.

Mikel Arteta will be hoping to land some new, young and fresh talent in this January transfer window in a bid to help keep them within fighting distance of the Champions League for the 2022/23 season.

In their last three matches, they have drawn one and lost two which has prompted Arteta to voice his own disappointment to the fans, expressing what he wishes to still achieve with the club and how they will move forward.

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Their 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest was a harsh wake-up call for the Gunners that they must not remain complacent during the 2021/22 campaign. The most successful club in FA Cup history were knocked out by a Championship team and now the 39-year-old Spaniard is on the hunt for some fresh meat to spice up the dressing room.

Arsenal’s FA Cup win in 2020

The Mirror recently revealed the seven players allegedly on Arteta’s wishlist as the manager hopes to find a new striker in light of his alleged falling out with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and reinforcements for his midfield as the club’s battle with Covid becomes heightened even more with the absence of Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny, who are both on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The five central midfield players are reputed to be Danilo, Bruno Guimarães, Youri Tielemans, Arthur and Georginio Wijnaldum, while Arteta has also attempted to target strikers Jonathan David and Dusan Vlahovic.

While Arsenal are set to be boosted by the return of Miguel Azeez and Tyreece John-Jules who come back from loan spells, Arteta has been dealt a huge blow in his bid for Dusan Vlahovic.

How will Pablo Mari’s impending departure affect Arsenal?

The Evening Standard has recently reported that the Spanish centre-back Pablo Mari is close to finalising and signing his loan deal with Udinese.

Udinese are currently 14th in the Italian Serie A league. They have not won a match since they beat Cagliari 4-0 on 18 December but will hope that their new recruit will strengthen their defensive set-up.

Mari’s gap in the Arsenal squad is unlikely to be kept vacant for any substantial length of time as Miguel Azeez and Tyreece John-Jules have been recalled to their side following loan spells at Portsmouth and Blackpool respectively.

Azeez has been with Pompey for the 2021/22 season

Having featured in the League One and Championship sides for the first half of the 2021/22 season, the pair of youngsters will have qualified as ‘appropriately experienced under-21 players’ under the Premier League postponement regulations.

Speaking on John-Jules return, Blackpool made a statement Monday 17 January evening: “Blackpool Football Club can confirm that Arsenal have recalled Tyreece John-Jules from his loan spell with the Seasiders.

“The forward departs Bloomfield Road having made 12 appearances in tangerine this season. The Club would like to thank Tyreece for his efforts and wish him the very best of luck for the future.”

Monday also saw a statement from Portsmouth’s boss Danny Cowley relating to Azeez: “We’ve got a brilliant relationship with Arsenal and have been in regular contact with them throughout the loan.

“I believe this has been a fantastic stepping stone in Miguel’s journey - moving into a senior environment and playing League One football.

“I have absolutely no doubt that he’ll go on to become a top player and this will have been an important part of his development.

“He leaves here a better player and hopefully a better person. We’ve been impressed with his focus and commitment to improve…

“I’m as excited as everyone else to see how he progresses and we wish him nothing but success moving forward.”

Will Arsenal be able to sign Dusan Vlahovic?

It may be just as well that the striker and midfielder, John-Jules and Azeez, are returning as Arteta’s big hope for signing the Serbian striker Vlahovic appear to be slipping through his fingers.

The Italian journalist Giocomo Scutiero have reported that Arsenal stand no chance of signing one of Europe’s hottest targets as the striker had already agreed terms with the Italian side Juventus back in October.

Juventus are also apparently agreeing to pay the Serbian’s agent’s sky-high commission fees.

Vlahovic is currently with the 6th team in Serie A, Fiorentina, and the Florence-based side are reportedly keen for the 21-year-old to sign an extension.

His current contract runs out in 2023 but in his most recent fixture - a 6-0 thrashing over Genoa - Vlahovic appeared to wave goodbye to the fans.

This wave sparked delight among Arsenal fans who assumed this meant that he was making a move into the Premier League, but Scutiero, via the DailyMail, were quick to report that the Gunners were not the likely target for the Serbian goal-machine.

Will Arteta sign Arthur?

It has been reported in the Sun that Arsenal are looking to finalise a loan deal with the former Barcelona player, Bruno, until the end of the season.

It was recently noted by Get French Football that Juventus have opened up their own discussions in bringing in a replacement for the midfielder, giving the Gunners a serious bid in their hopes for the deal.

Get French Football report that the Serie A club are in negotiations with the League 1 side Lyon over a possible signing of Bruno Guimaraes.

While SunSport have understood that Juventus would be happy for the Brazilian midfielder to leave on loan, they would wish to sign a replacement first.

Arteta has been reported to be a fan of the 25-year-old and has been keeping a watchful eye over the midfielder for the last few seasons.

If Juventus are able to sign Guimaraes or another midfielder, Arthur would be ready to fly into London next week and sign his loan deal.