Arsenal transfer plans have changed but Gabriel Jesus ‘most likely’ to be big signing

Arteta 'in pain' after Arsenal miss out on Champions League

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Mikel Arteta’s summer transfer plans have changed after Eddie Nketiah changed his mind about leaving Arsenal. The Gunners boss was originally on the lookout for two new strikers, with Gabriel Jesus a priority.

Jesus remains Arsenal’s top transfer target, and their interest in the Brazilian has not changed following the recent developments with Nketiah’s situation.

But it has shifted their overall plans, as the Gunners were originally chasing two forwards, but now manager Arteta is pursuing one big signing in the no.9 position. Arsenal were always keen to keep Nketiah, and his recent U-turn has majorly helped Arteta ahead of a hectic summer transfer window.

According to The Athletic, Nketiah is on the verge of signing a new five-year deal, and the 22-year-old could receive wages of £100,000-a-week to stay at Arsenal. But the revelation with Nketiah has not changed Arsenal’s stance over Jesus, and the Gunners are still extremely interested in signing the Manchester City no.9.

Jesus began to hit form towards the end of City’s season, but the arrival of Erling Haaland is set to complicate things. The Brazilian has been a solid signing ever since arriving from Palmerias in 2017 but it could be time to become the main man elsewhere.

The City star would be in good company too, with fellow Brazilian’s Gabriel Magalhaes and Gabriel Martinelli already at the club and Arthur Melo is still linked with a move from Juventus. Jesus has just one year left on his contract, and City could be tempted with a sale as they look to strengthen elsewhere.

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This is music to the ears of Arsenal, who could resolve their striker situation in quick time after initially being handed a major blow. Arteta failed to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January as the striker forced a move to Barcelona and Alexandre Lacazette is on his way out six months later with his contract expiring.

Nketiah was expected to follow, leaving Arsenal with no natural no.9 within their ranks. And after they missed out on Champions League with consecutive defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle, they limited their options by their own accord.

But Jesus is still said to be open to a move to north London despite the fact that Arsenal will be playing in the Europa League next season and he could be the man to help them climb into the top four after failing this time out. Should they complete a deal, Arteta’s daunting chase for striking options will be over much quicker than earlier anticipated.

Arsenal have also been linked with a move for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, although Everton were reportedly holding out for a mammoth £60million to allow him to leave Goodison Park. However, with their financial situation not great, it’s expected that they may sell either Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison this summer.

But now Arteta may not have to consider him as an option, as Arsenal are going all out to strike a deal with Jesus’ representatives. And although there is yet to be official confirmation over Nketiah’s deal, it’s reportedly very close.

Arteta may have missed out on Champions League football for next season and with Thursday night games their chances of climbing back into the top four are increasingly slim. But with a pair of committed strikers, there is every chance that they could defy the odds, or even win the Europa League and qualify via a different route.

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