Soccer

Five players Arsenal could sign this month as Mikel Arteta handed £18m transfer budget

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reportedly has just £18million to spend in the January transfer window. Here, Express Sport looks at some of the players the Gunners boss could sign on a limited budget as he looks to fire his side up the Premier League table.

A creative midfielder is a priority for Arteta, while the manager could also look for another back-up goalkeeper after some shaky performances from Alex Runarsson.

But while the Gunners are expected to offload players such as Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Arteta will be given just €20million (£17.8m) on new recruits.

That’s according to transfer expert Duncan Castles, who said on the Transfer Window podcast: “I’m told they’re working on a very limited budget to do that of about €20m.

“So you want a player who would take a fundamental role in the team and change the midfield in an important way but you’re trying to do it at a price that is going to be very difficult to achieve.”

With that in mind, here are some players Arsenal could target this month as they look to do business on a budget.

LATEST: Liverpool boss Klopp asking about Bissouma as transfer battle eyed

Isco

Arsenal were heavily linked with a move for Isco ahead of the January window.

However, such a small budget would make move for the Real Madrid playmaker difficult.

A loan deal could work for both parties, with Isco’s opportunities limited at the Bernabeu this season.

Emiliano Buendia

Buendia is another player being linked with the Gunners, having starred for Championship table-toppers Norwich City.

However, the Canaries are said to want £40m for their star asset, which would make a deal this month impossible.

Arsenal could offer a player-plus-cash deal, with the likes of defenders Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi surplus to requirements, although a player such as Reiss Nelson might be more attractive to Norwich.

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Yves Bissouma

Bissouma is not the creative, attacking midfielder Arsenal are looking for, but the 24-year-old is reportedly a long-term option and is also on Liverpool’s radar.

Castles says: “Bissouma’s not that player, he doesn’t fit that style, but we’ve talked about how Arsenal have a very heavy squad, a lot of unhappy players, a lot of players in there that Mikel Arteta is not convinced about and would like to shift out.”

Bissouma has proven Premier League experience and would likely cost around £15m.

David Raya

Mikel Arteta wanted Brentford keeper David Raya six months ago, before signing Runarsson.

Runarsson was signed as a third-choice keeper before Emiliano Martinez left for Aston Villa, and the Icelandic international so far hasn’t proved to be the able deputy Arteta needs.

Arsenal had a £10m bid for Raya rejected last summer, so would probably have to go to around £15m to land the highly-rated 25-year-old – but it is doubtful whether promotion-chasing Brentford would sell.

Mat Ryan

A more feasible short-term option could be Brighton keeper Mat Ryan.

The Australia international has fallen out of favour in recent weeks, and could be available for half the likely price of Raya.

He would provide able back-up for Bernd Leno, giving Arteta and Edu a chance to put a bid together for Raya in the summer.

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