Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta acknowledged it will be very hard for the Gunners to secure Champions League qualification via the Premier League after crashing out of the Europa League.

Mikel Arteta has identified Philippe Coutinho, Willian and Thomas Partey as the three players he wants to bring in this summer as he looks to strengthen his side ahead of next season.

Arteta is looking to add a wealth of experience to the team and is intent on switching to a 4-3-3 system next campaign as he continues implement his own style of play.

According to The Times, Arteta has identified the trio as the men to help transform his side as they look to build on their FA Cup triumph.

With Coutinho now exiled by Barcelona, Arsenal could snap up the former Liverpool star this summer, with recent reports suggesting that he will could cost as little as £9million.

A loan deal is also being mooted should Barcelona not receive an offer in the region of their valuation of the player.

Barcelona are hoping to sell Coutinho permanently but are aware that clubs may not be able to part with a significant transfer fee in this current financial climate and could instead look to loan him out for another season – he joined Bayern on loan last August.

In the centre of the park, Partey is being seen as the man to take over from Matteo Guendouzi after the Frenchman lost his place in the squad due to attitude issues.


Another veteran Arteta is keen on bringing in is Willian, whose current deal at Stamford Bridge is set to expire after Chelsea’s second leg against Bayern Munich in the Champions League last-16 on August 8.

While Willian remains locked in contract talks with the Blues over extending his stay at the club, Arsenal are one of the front-runners to land the Brazilian should he not be offered a new deal. He wants three years at Chelsea, who are only offering two.

Arteta is also hoping to extend Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s stay at the Emirates by offering the Gabon striker a new £250,000-a-week deal.

Aubameyang’s current £180,000-a-week deal expires next summer but his contract includes a 12-month extension clause.

It is reported that Arsenal must trigger the clause by December 31, which would then see his wages go up significantly.

With bonus fees involved this could cost the club around £20m for one season, after which Aubameyang could still leave.

Arsenal therefore want the matter resolved and will push for their FA Cup hero to sign on the dotted line with completely fresh terms taking him through until 2023.

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