Arsenal planning £70million spending spree this week as they target Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus and Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez
- Arsenal are ready to spend £70m this week as the look to improve their squad
- The Gunners are set to return with an improved offer for striker Gabriel Jesus
- Ajax are demanding around £30m for talented defender Lisandro Martinez
The Gunners were rebuffed in a £35m bid for City striker Jesus but are hopeful they can shake hands close to the Premier League champions’ £50m asking price.
Ajax player of the year Martinez, 24, is attracted to Mikel Arteta’s project, with the Dutch club demanding around £30m for the left-footed Argentinian defender.
Arsenal are planning a £70m spending spree, with Gabriel Jesus among their targets
The Gunners are also looking to secure the signing of Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez
Martinez is attracted to the project at Arsenal that is being overseen by manager Mikel Arteta
He would provide competition for places with Ben White and Gabriel, who labelled fans ‘ungrateful’ on Saturday for criticising the club’s decision to extend Eddie Nketiah’s deal.
The striker signed a long-term contract, ending a lengthy uncertainty over his future, and switched shirt numbers from 30 to 14, as once worn by Arsenal hero Thierry Henry.
Eddie Nketiah received criticism from some fans online after he was given the No 14 shirt
Fans voiced disquiet over the switch and defender Gabriel tweeted: ‘How can you be so ungrateful?!’
And former Arsenal striker Ian Wright said: ‘You can never call yourself an Arsenal fan with negativity of this nature. Would you say this to Eddie’s face? If not, shut up.’
Nketiah said: ‘I really like 14, you can all guess why — Thierry Henry was my favourite player growing up, my idol.’
Choosing that number might hint that Arsenal are leaving the No9 shirt clear for Jesus, who is expected to leave Pep Guardiola’s side after five years and 236 games. The Brazilian is keen to join Arsenal, despite competition from Tottenham.
Jesus, 25, played 41 times for City last season — scoring eight goals and adding nine assists — but has spent much of his career in Manchester playing second fiddle to the likes of Sergio Aguero.
Arsenal are on the brink of signing Porto’s Fabio Vieira as they look to bolster their squad
That is unlikely to change with the arrival of £51m Norwegian Erling Haaland and young Argentina international Julian Alvarez from River Plate, another forward tipped to challenge for a place in Guardiola’s first team.
Arsenal are also looking at Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans, remains a target though Arsenal would prefer to get players out before signing the Belgian.
Question marks remain over Granit Xhaka’s future, while Arsenal also hope to sell Lucas Torreira. Nicolas Pepe is another that could be sold to offset spending, and goalkeeper Bernd Leno is discussing a move to Fulham.
Arsenal made their first approaches for Martinez in May. Ajax are braced for a £30m bid for the defender who was key in their Dutch title triumph — they conceded just 19 goals all season.
The Gunners are also on the brink of signing Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira, 22. He will be their third summer arrival, after American goalkeeper Matt Turner and Brazil striker Marquinhos.