Arsenal face fresh transfer blow as Edu forced back to drawing board

Arsenal have suffered a blow to their long-term transfer planning after reports in Italy emerged saying Lautaro Martinez had agreed a deal in principle to extend his stay at Inter Milan. Martinez was one of the Gunners’ primary transfer targets over the summer, but it now seems they will have to turn their attention to other players in 2022.

Arsenal had a busy summer window, bringing in six new players and spending around £150million in transfer fees.

Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Martin Odegaard were all brought in as transfer chief Edu conducted a major squad overhaul.

The additions appear to now be making a difference, with Arsenal recording back-to-back 1-0 victories following a poor start to the campaign.

Ramsdale, White, Tomiyasu and Odegaard all started in Saturday’s win over Burnley, which followed last weekend’s victory against Norwich.

With things seemingly back on track, the Gunners’ hierarchy can begin to think about next year and the plans for the squad’s future.

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Martinez has reportedly already agreed to a new contract, which Gazzetta dello Sport says will run for five years and push his value from £55m to £85m.

That could spell the end of Arsenal’s interest in the Argentina international, who is currently under contract until June 2023 and has started the season with two goals in two games.

Arsenal may therefore have to move onto other targets, especially considering the doubts over the futures of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah.

Both strikers are into the final nine months of their current contracts and look likely to leave the club in 2022.

Nketiah nearly joined Crystal Palace on transfer deadline day after Arsenal cut their asking price from £20m to £12m, but the deal fell through late on.

Lacazette is in a similar position, having made just two appearances as a substitute this season.

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