Arsenal are ready to cash in on several first-team stars to raise funds for Mikel Arteta’s rebuild.
The Gunners eased their financial concerns to the tune of £30million with Saturday’s euphoric FA Cup final victory over Chelsea, which booked their place in next season’s Europa League.
But Arteta knows he must sell players to generate the money required to land his first-choice transfer targets — and he could even offload Alexandre Lacazette or Hector Bellerin if a sizeable offer is made for either player.
Sokratis, Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Sead Kolasinac — as well as Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding, who have played key roles for Arteta in recent weeks — are also in the shop window.
Arteta wants Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, and the club have a long-term interest in Chelsea forward Willian, whose contract is set to expire.
Arsenal are interested in Barcelona forward Philippe Coutinho but financing a deal for the former Liverpool star could prove difficult. They also want a central defender and to extend midfielder Dani Ceballos’s loan from Real Madrid.
The club want to sell Mesut Ozil, but their hopes of offloading the former Germany playmaker — and his £350,000-a-week salary — appear slim after his agent insisted Ozil would see out the final season of his contract.
The priority for Arsenal and Arteta is to secure the future of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang before the start of next season on September 12.
The 28-goal forward, whose penalty and expertly taken second-half strike secured Saturday’s 2-1 Wembley win over Chelsea, is stalling over a new deal at the Emirates.
Aubameyang has less than 12 months on his contract and Arsenal run the risk of losing their talismanic captain for nothing next summer.
The Gabon international earns around £180,000-a-week but wants upwards of £250,000-a-week before he will consider extending his stay.
If Aubameyang does not sign, the club would seriously consider selling him during this transfer window to avoid losing him later on a free transfer.
But the overwhelming preference at the club is for captain Aubameyang to remain, given his huge importance to Arteta’s team, as was underlined by his Wembley display.
Speaking after the final, Arteta made it clear he wanted Aubameyang to stay, adding that he wanted to ‘build his squad around him’.
Arsenal will step up attempts to persuade the 31-year-old to sign a new deal this week, with the club wanting the matter resolved quickly.
Arteta added on the BBC: ‘He knows what I think about him. I think he wants to stay and it is just about getting the deal done.
‘These moments will help him to realise and believe that we are on the right path and he is a big part of that.
‘He is loved by everybody at the club. Hopefully he can continue with us.’
However, sources insist Aubameyang is not prepared to be low-balled. He knows he could secure a more lucrative pay-day by leaving on a free transfer next year and wants a deal that acknowledges his position as the club’s most important player.
Asked on Saturday what he could reveal about his plans, Aubameyang replied: ‘Nothing.’