Arsenal transfer round-up: Ruben Neves talks to ‘accelerate’ as move ‘edges closer’

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is adamant that his squad needs changing in the upcoming window.

The Spaniard oversaw a season that saw the Gunners miss out on European football for the first time in 25 years.

Asked about a potential plan in the summer, Arteta made it abundantly clear that there would be an emphasis on evolving the playing squad.

“The squad needs changing,” he said last month. “There were already a lot of changes in December, something that has not been done in years, but it tells us where we were. Things are going to have to change and the owners are going to back it up.”

With that in mind, here are the latest Arsenal rumours, regarding both incomings and departures:

Granit close to the exit

Granit Xhaka is said to be drawn to the prospect of playing under Jose Mourinho
(Image: SIPA USA/PA Images)

Granit Xhaka looks set to be the first high-profile departure of Arsenal’s close season, with the Swiss midfielder closing in on a move to Roma.

Jose Mourinho has pinpointed Xhaka as a player to help make an immediate impact for the Serie A side following his appointment.

Xhaka is said to be intrigued to work with the Portuguese and talks are advancing over a permanent exit.

Arsenal are holding out for close to £20m with discussions progressing well between the two clubs.

Ruben Neves latest

Once Xhaka departs, Goal report that talks over a move for Ruben Neves will ‘accelerate’.

Arteta has targeted the Wolves star as a ready made replacement in the middle of the park after impressing for the last three seasons in the top-flight.

The report suggests that Wolves are open to selling the Portugal international as they look to back incoming manager Bruno Lage in his own transfer plans.

Arsenal could make a move for Ruben Neves, once Xhaka is sold

The Midlands club are said to be holding out for around £35m, with certain estimates claiming a bid of closer to £40m will be needed to persuade Wolves to sell.

Meanwhile, his international teammate Jose Fonte has said he is not surprised at all to see Neves linked with a move to a club like Arsenal.

He told talkSPORT: “Ruben is a great, young player. We cannot forget he is still a young player.

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“He’s done very well since he came to England. I can’t say I’m surprised [about the links to Arsenal] because of the quality he has and his passing range is second to none.

“He can score goals from outside the box. He’s very clever. I’m not surprised there is interest in him.”

‘UK clubs contacted’

Arsenal have made contact with clubs across the United Kingdom with the aim of sending as many as eight youngsters out on loan.

Per Mertesacker is hoping to see a number of academy players leave on loan
(Image: GETTY)

How many players do Arsenal need to sign this summer? Have your say in the comments

With no Europa League football next season, Arteta acknowledges that it will be even more difficult to hand first-team minutes to players from the academy.

Football.London claim that academy manager Per Mertesacker has sent a list of players out including highly-rated striker Nikolaj Moller.

Along with Moller; George Lewis, Ben Cottrell, Tim Akinola, Jonathan Dinzeyi, Harry Clarke, Ryan Alebiosu, Zak Swanson will all be available to leave on a temporary basis.

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