TRANSFER NEWS: Mikel Arteta to put seven ARSENAL players up for sale, including record signing

Mikel Arteta is ready to put seven Arsenal players up for sale this summer in an attempt to build a squad capable of fighting on multiple fronts next season.

The Gunners are closing in on a first Premier League title in nearly 20 years following a series of outstanding performances, masterminded by a manager who has transformed the culture within a club which had lost touch with England’s elite clubs.

While Arsenal have swept almost everyone before them in the league this season, the shortcomings of a paper thin squad have been exposed by a lack of progress in the cup competitions.

Arteta’s side exited both the FA and League Cups prematurely and were booted out of Europe 10 days ago when they suffered a shock penalty shootout defeat against Sporting Lisbon.

The Spaniard will be expected to mount more lasting challenges across multiple competitions next season and in order to do so he will be unable to carry player who aren’t up to the task.

With that in mind, Arteta, according to The Sun, will listen to offers for seven fringe players, including the club’s record signing Nicolas Pepe who has spent the current season on loan at Nice.

The Ivory Coast international’s wages could, however, prove a stumbling block if Arsenal hope to receive a fee and they could be forced to terminate his contract as they did with the likes of Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Sead Kolasinac and Hector Bellerin earlier in Arteta’s reign.

Arsenal will also listen to offers for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Nuno Tavares, Pablo Mari, Cedric Soares and Alex Runarsson, all of whom are currently out on loan.

Kieran Tierney’s future also remains a matter of intense speculation with Newcastle monitoring the Scotland international’s situation, while the Gunners could also look to cash in on Folarin Balogun following his sensational goalscoring exploits on loan at Reims this season.

Arsenal missed out on their top target in January, meanwhile, but the additions of Jorginho and Leandro Trossard have proved short-term investments while defender Jakub Kiwior is likely to feature more prominently next season.

Arteta is likely to revive the club’s interest in Moises Caicedo come the summer while the north London club are expected to compete for the services of West Ham captain Declan Rice.

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