Arsenal prepared to axe five senior players in £100m summer overhaul - report
By Matt Farr
Arsenal are planning a major shake-up of the first team squad this summer that could see no fewer than five senior players quit the club, according to a report.
The Mirror claims that David Ospina, Nacho Monreal and Aaron Ramsey could each be sacrificed as Arsenal seek high profile new additions, with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez also likely to quit.
Arsenal have hit a bump in the road in their pursuit of a top-four finish in the Premier League this term, having lost four of their last five matches.
A defeat to West Brom on Saturday resigned the north London club to sixth place in the table, where they sit level on points with Everton.
The pressure has continued to increase on manager Arsene Wenger, who is out of contract at the end of the season, but he is contemplating an offer of a two-year extension.
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But even with Wenger’s future in doubt, Arsenal are already preparing to make wholesale changes at the Emirates this summer, with a massive £100million budget at their disposal.
The Mirror reports that Arsenal have lined up Alexandre Lacazette, Moussa Dembele, Kylian Mbappe and Marco Reus as their four primary attacking targets.
Meanwhile, they are also in the market for a new goalkeeper, a left-back and fresh midfield talent.
With Ospina set to quit, the Gunners have reportedly narrowed their search to one of three Premier League stoppers – Jack Butland, Joe Hart and Jordan Pickford.
Wales international midfielder Ramsey, meanwhile, is understood to be sacrificed in the pursuit of Everton attacking midfielder Ross Barkley.
But it is the potential exit of star duo Sanchez and Ozil that would deal Arsenal the heaviest blow, with negotiations over new deals continuing to stall.
A £280,000-a-week contract is believed to be on the table for Ozil, but the German has yet to sign; while Sanchez continues to be linked with a move to another top European club after growing increasingly frustrated at the club.
The soon-to-be-available Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are also being monitored by Premier League rivals, and Arsenal risk the duo also jumping ship if they fail to make the top four.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the club are set to enter talks with this 18-year-old striker after he makes a career decision.