According to the Telegraph, Stan Kroenke has decided to make extra £20million available for transfers this summer.
It had been initially announced that the club’s transfer kitty would amount to £50million plus any income generated by player sales, but now that sum has gone up to £70million. A small increase, but a welcome one, nevertheless.
Money aside, the first signing of the Unai Emery era might come as a free transfer. The contract of Juventus full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner is about to expire and at Arsenal they believe the presence of the Switzerland captain would bring some much needed leadership qualities to the back line, as Laurent Koscielny remains unavailable at least until November. The team captain suffered knee ligament damage in the second leg of the Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid.
The Gunners will still need to generate quite an income to be able to compete with their Premier League rivals on the transfer market this summer, but Emery is happy Kroenke has sanctioned this increase.
Apart from Lichtsteiner, two more Serie A players are on Arsenal’s radar – AS Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini and Sampdoria’s Dennis Praet. Praet has also been linked with Juventus. Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno and Eintracht Freiburg defender Caglar Soyuncu were targeted by Sven Mislintat and Raul Sanllehi even before the club appointed Emery as the manager.
Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis says Emery has promised to make only small changes to the squad, mostly focusing on the back line, but also to work with young players as much as possible. Apparently, the former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain boss is a big fan of Ainsley Maitland-Niles. He has watched the youngster before, he’s very excited about his talent and he’s looking forward to the opportunity to develop him into a top player. It was one of the things about Emery that impressed Gazidis when he first interviewed him for the job.