Mikel Arteta is ‘angry’ at Arsenal’s indecision in the transfer market and fears the club have blown their chances of signing Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus.
Arteta spent almost £150m on the likes of Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale and Martin Odegaard last summer and wants to oversee another spending spree before the 2022-23 season as he bids to take Arsenal back to the top.
The Gunners endured a mixed 2021-22 campaign, with a young and inexperienced squad unable to secure a return to the Champions League following a late slump.
Arteta wants to sign a new striker, midfielder and defender this summer and has identified Man City forward Jesus as one of his top targets.
The Spaniard worked with Jesus while he was Pep Guardiola’s assistant at the Etihad and believes he is the man to fill the void left by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
But Arteta fears Arsenal are set to miss out on Jesus – who City value at £50m – and is growing increasingly frustrated at the club’s transfer strategy, according to the Daily Mail.
It is claimed that all major transactions at Arsenal must go through their American owners this summer, with dithering over deals potentially costing Arteta his top targets.
Arsenal emerged as the favourites to sign Brazil international Jesus but the Gunners now face competition from Premier League rivals Chelsea and Tottenham and European champions Real Madrid.
Despite Arteta’s desire to bring Jesus to north London, Arsenal are still reluctant to meet City’s £50m valuation and are yet to open talks with the player.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have been urged to make a ‘cheeky bid’ for wantaway Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku by Gunners legend Paul Merson.
The Belgian star endured a miserable season at Stamford Bridge and is keen to return to Italian club Inter Milan this summer.
Merson told the Daily Star: ‘Arsenal should make a cheeky £60m bid for Romelu Lukaku this summer. If Chelsea are so desperate to let him go that they’re talking about loaning him to Inter Milan, surely they would take the money.
‘Arsenal haven’t had someone who is big and strong and dynamic like that since Kevin Campbell. I know he hasn’t scored a lot of goals this season but Lukaku is an elite goalscorer.
‘Arsenal play great football up to the edge of the box but then it often fizzles out. Arsenal go through the lines. They want their striker on the edge of the box. It would suit him.’