There have been many conficting reports about the possibility of Aubameyang or Lacazette moving to Barcelona in a swap deal for Coutinho or A.N.OTHER, but the financial situation means that the Catalans need to sell players before they can buy.
Ronald Koeman said this weekend (as reported in the Metro): ‘Seeing all the positions of the team we lack people in front,’
‘Ansu [Fati], [Ousmane] Dembele, [Sergio] Aguero are missing. We lack there and that is why we have talked about the possibility of signing a forward to have more players and more competition. It all depends on whether we can sign.’
So Barcelona are actively in need of a striker, while Arsenal are in the desperate position of having too many strikers on the books, and with no European football to give reserves some game time, they are going to be left with many unhappy players sulking on the sidelines. How many strikers can Arteta keep happy when he has Eddie Nketiah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel Martinelli and Folarin Balogun all vying to play as centre-forward. Even if the Gunners use two strikers per game, there is still only one game a week.
Fabrizio Romano highlighted the problem when he revealed in HITC: “I think it’s not an easy situation to be honest, because Arsenal have a lot of players, and it’s not easy in this market to get rid of players. I still remember they decided to change with Hector Bellerin for months and months, and he’s still at the club,”
“It’s not easy to find a solution with many players, also in attack, Nketiah they’ve not decided what they want to do, so it’s a confusing situation. From what I’m told, in the dressing room, I’m not told there are big problems in the dressing room, but there is more a problem about too many players in the same positions, in particular in attack, and they wanted to bring in a new one like Tammy Abraham, but they couldn’t because they had too many players in this position.”
“The real difficult part of this market is about selling players, look at Manchester United they are not selling players, and Arsenal, they’re trying, but it’s not easy. It’s something this week that needs to be clarified, but it could become a problem.”
So right now, I imagine Arteta would sell any striker that is wanted by another club, although Aubameyang’s wages could be a stumbling block, but everyone else except Man City, PSG and the like, are in just as bad a position financially after the losses caused by Covid.
The next two weeks are going to be crucial to Arsenal’s season…