Arsenal have been active in the summer transfer window thus far, bringing in Gabriel Jesus, Fabio Vieira, Matt Turner, and Marquinhos. Movement has been slower on the outgoing / loan front. So far, only academy and youth team players have moved. But the Gunners have several senior players on the roster in the shop window, most of whom are not expected to be with the club this season.
Outgoing moves, historically, have taken longer to come together, so I’m not particularly concerned that Arsenal won’t be able to move any of the players listed below if that indeed is the plan. It’s still relatively early in the window. Yes, the Premier League season starts in 31 days, but the transfer window doesn’t close until September 1st. I would not be surprised if some of the deals aren’t finalized until after the start of the season, and some might come down to loan moves on Deadline Day out of necessity. In a perfect world, Arsenal would wrap up sales (as opposed to loans) for all the outgoing players, but we don’t live in a perfect world.
Bernd Leno: reportedly has no shortage of suitors, although Fulham appear to be the current favorites to land the German keeper, who is said to want to remain in London. He’s also been linked with Newcastle (who recently signed Nick Pope, making a move for Leno unlikely), Benfica, PSV Eindhoven, and several clubs in the Bundesliga.
Hector Bellerin: wants to return to Real Betis, but the Spanish side aren’t flush with cash and the Gunners aren’t ready to cancel his contract for him to leave on a free transfer. He’s also been linked with several Serie A clubs as well as Barcelona. Bellerin seems to have his heart set on a move to Betis, however.
Pablo Mari: would like a move to Italy, which he says is the right league for him. Mari had a successful loan at Udinese last season and looked set to return there, but the club changed managers, which threw a wrench into the proceedings. Like all the clubs who seem to want to buy Arsenal players, Udinese claim not to have much money, either. Funny how that keeps happening.
Nuno Tavares: has been linked with a loan move for the upcoming season. He was most recently linked with Marseille, which makes sense given William Saliba and Matteo Guendouzi’s recent loans to the French side. It seems as if the two clubs have a good, working relationship. Tavares was on Atalanta’s radar earlier in the summer, but that chatter has died down because the Italian side wanted purchase options in the loan, and Arsenal wanted either a straight sale or a dry loan. There also seems to be a valuation gap between the clubs, with Atalanta balking at Arsenal’s reported €40M price tag for any type of sale.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles: the rumor mill has been comparatively quiet on AMN, with a mid-June link with promoted side Nottingham Forest as the only buzz. Expecting him to move somewhere in the bottom third of the Premier League or to a Europa or Conference League club at some point during the window, maybe even a Championship side. His reported 52K weekly wage complicates things. That’s another theme that keeps cropping up. Arsenal have given fringe players over-market wages, in part because the Premier League has more money than the other leagues, which makes it difficult for the Gunners to shift players out.
Lucas Torreira: was supposed to return to Fiorentina after a successful loan last season, but the Italian side backed out of the deal, much to Torreira’s consternation. He put out a statement expressing how disappointed he was that the club were not bringing him back. That sentiment was echoed by Viola Nation, the SBN Fiorentina site. It seems as if the clubs had an understanding (or maybe even an agreement) on a £13M sale, the buy option in his loan deal. The Italian side balked, came back with an absurd counteroffer of around half that number, and the deal collapsed. And it’s not as if Fiorentina don’t have the money. They’re guaranteed €70M from selling Dusan Vlahovic to Juventus and that number could end up over €90M with performance bonuses. It’s now unclear where Torreira will end up. He has categorically said he doesn’t want to play for Arsenal — he’s not happy in London. Another Italian side seems the most likely destination.
Nicolas Pepe: Arsenal would love to sell the Ivorian attacker, but it doesn’t look as if the now £26M-rated winger has many suitors. A loan move to France looks to be the likeliest way for Arsenal to clear his salary from the books, which is a really disappointing outcome for the club record, £72M signing.
Reiss Nelson: a return to Feyenoord seems the most likely, although the Dutch club is in the midst of a legitimate financial crisis that will complicate things. Nelson is in the last year of his Arsenal contract (a one-year extension signed before going on loan last season), so Arsenal will need to make a decision. There haven’t been any links with English clubs as of yet, but Nelson is homegrown, which might drive some interest.