Arsenal transfer news: Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Mustafi, Rodriguez
Gunners boss Unai Emery planning major summer overhaul of his squad
This evening’s Uefa Europa League semi-final against Valencia could be the curtain call for a batch of Arsenal stars, according to reports.
The Sun says that Gunners boss Unai Emery is planning a “major summer overhaul” as he looks to put this season’s disappointment behind him.
After failing to finish in the top four, Arsenal must win the Europa League in order to qualify for the Champions League.
The Gunners take a 3-1 lead to Valencia for the second leg of the semi-final, but pressure is on to reach the final and then win the European trophy.
Danny Welbeck, Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey are definitely moving on, and the newspaper claims that Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Carl Jenkinson, Mohamed Elneny and Shkodran Mustafi are also considered surplus to requirements for next season.
Emery has reportedly decided that the squad he inherited from Arsene Wenger “is not good enough for what he needs to deliver success” - and the Spaniard will be ruthless in cutting out the dead wood.
His priority is to offload Ozil and Mkhitaryan, both of whom do little to justify their astronomical wages, particularly the former with his £350,000-a-week pay packet.
Mkhitaryan has also “disappointed” Emery, showing only occasional flashes of brilliance in the 18 months he has been at the Emirates.
Emery is “hoping a buyer can be found for the £180,000-a-week Armenian”, and the same goes for midfielder Elneny and defender Mustafi.
German Mustafi has become a liability in the Arsenal back four, and Emery is desperate to get shot of him. Jenkinson will also be sold as Emery looks to bring in a raft of new defenders to strengthen the Achilles heel of his squad.
Rodriguez on the radar?
One player who could be brought in during the summer is James Rodriguez, with the Daily Mirror claiming that the Colombian is top of Emery’s shopping list.
The newspaper says that Emery has “repeatedly enquired about his availability” and is aware that he must move quickly to see off interest from Manchester United.
Rodriguez has spent the last two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich from Real Madrid, but the Mirror claims the German giants will not trigger his purchase option and he will therefore return to Spain.
Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane isn’t a fan of Rodriguez and should be willing to listen to offers for the South American over the summer.