Arsenal’s summer plans will begin when their campaign ends this Sunday against Wolves.
The Gunners have missed out on the Premier League title but will be back at Europe’s top table next term – with preparations needed for their return to the Champions League. Mikel Arteta will need to add plenty of quality to his thin squad if they want to compete across several fronts.
Arsenal will be keen to finish their season on a high this weekend having won only two of their last eight games. Arteta received a boost this week when Bukayo Saka signed a new deal, but couldn’t confirm whether William Saliba would return for pre-season.
Here’s the latest from North London.
Rice makes Arsenal priority
Rice is ready to make it clear he favours a move to Arsenal this summer.
West Ham are expected to sell their England international if a Champions League club matches their £100m-plus valuation.
Arsenal have made Rice their No1 transfer target but know there could be competition if Manchester United or other Premier League rivals also come in for the 24-year-old midfielder.
But Arsenal have already put in a huge amount of work to make sure the deal happens this summer as part of a shake-up in the squad.
Haaland backs Odegaard for award
Erling Haaland has suggested that Arsenal rival and international teammate Martin Odegaard could have been named Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year.
The Manchester City striker scooped the annual Football Writers’ Association award on Thursday evening following a stunning campaign. He has scored an eye-watering 52 goals during his debut campaign in England following a move from Borussia Dortmund – 36 of those coming in the Premier League.
After landing his latest gong, Haaland was asked who would be worthy of the award away from himself and he plumped for Odegaard, as well as one of his potentially under-appreciated City colleagues.
Summer transfer plan in place
Arsenal will return to the Champions League and, despite their poor end to the campaign, there is plenty of optimism heading into next season.
Their lack of squad depth has been cited as a reason for their drop off, which saw them spurn their title chances, and reinforcements will be needed if they are to compete on several fronts next season – but Arteta is confident a plan is in place.
He said: “We have to nail everything that we do and we have to seek excellence in everything that we touch and participate in, to have a big impact at the club.
“In order to do that, we have a really promising plan. We may have to reflect a little bit, take a step back, make sure this is the right one and go again with more determination and hunger in the tummies to do even better.”