Arsenal transfer rumours round-up: Timber, Mbappe, Rice, Lavai & more

By on July 8, 2023

Arsenal have already been one of the busiest clubs in the transfer window as Mikel Arteta looks to strengthen his squad ahead of the new season. We fell just short of winning the Premier League title last season and a lack od depth throughout the squad was highlighted by many as a major factor in our late season collapse.

Granit Xhaka has left to join Bayer Leverkusen in a £21m deal so there was a huge void needing to be filled in midfield. A shock name was identified by Arteta as the man to replace Xhaka in the No.8 role as Arsenal wrapped-up a £60m move to sign Kai Havertz from Chelsea. The German played as a striker for club and country last year but it looks as though Arteta wants Havertz to play in a deeper box-to-box midfield role at the Emirates Stadium.

It will be interesting to see how that works out but Havertz won’t be the last name through the door this summer, so let’s take a look at some of the latest on transfer stories relating to Arsenal.

Declan Rice delay

Arsenal still haven’t announced the signing of Declan Rice, despite agreeing a deal with West Ham two weeks ago. After fending off competition from Manchester City, Arsenal won the race to sigh Rice after agreeing to pay £100m plus £5m in add-ons. Rice quickly agreed personal terms and completed his medical last week before jetting off on holiday, so a formal announcement appeared to be imminent.

However, there has still not been any confirmation of the move and reports suggest that Arsenal’s lawyers are still looking over the paperwork. West Ham are becoming increasingly frustrated by the delay and fans with Arsenal tickets are also starting to worry that the proposed move might collapse. However, it’s still only a matter of time before Rice completes his move to Arsenal.

Timber latest

Arsenal are also yet to formally confirm the arrival of Jurrien Timber from Ajax. A deal was agreed between the two clubs earlier this month worth around £39m including add-ons and Timber flew in to London to undergo his medical late last week. Some reports suggested the move would be confirmed on Tuesday which would allow the defender to link-up with his new team mates in Germany and make his debut against Nurnberg on Thursday.

However, the deal is still not announced so Timber will have to bide his time and will now join his new team mates for the pre-season tour of the USA next week – as long as the move is confirmed by that point. It seems Arsenal’s lawyers are busy trying to complete the paper-work for two big-money deals and it’s causing a delay in getting the deals over the line.

Shock Mbappe links

A new forward is seemingly on the agenda this summer as Arteta needs more depth in his attack. Arsenal have been linked with a whole host of names but a surprise player to emerge as a target is Kylian Mbappe. The French superstar has gone public to confirm he won’t be signing a new contract at PSG. His current deal has just one year remaining and the Ligue 1 champions have made it clear the 24-year-old will be sold this summer if he doesn’t commit to a new contract.

The situation has reportedly alerted Arsenal, as some shock reports earlier this week claimed that the Gunners were lining-up a sensational move to sign Mbappe. The reports were quickly dismissed by most Arsenal fans as we simply don’t have the money to buy the former Monaco star. Even if we could afford his £150m+ asking price, we’d have to blow our wage structure as Mbappe is reportedly on almost £1m per week, so there is virtually no chance he’ll be coming to the Emirates Stadium this summer. In all likelihood, Mbappe will join Real Madrid.

Partey out, Lavia in?

With Rice set to arrive, it means Thomas Partey could join Granit Xhaka in heading out of the club this summer. Partey’s injury problems have been well documented but Arteta will also have been concerned by his poor form during the business end of last season. It saw him lose his first team place to Jorginho and now Rice will take over the defensive midfield role on a permanent basis, so reports have suggested that Partey could be on the way out.

Juventus have been strongly linked but the Italians may struggle to put together a financial package that satisfies both Arsenal and Partey. That could open the door for the 30-year-old to join an ever-growing list of players accepting lucrative moves to Saudi Arabia. Several Saudi clubs have expressed their interest in Partey and they’re prepared to pay Arsenal over £30m, this is certainly one to keep an eye on.

If Partey does leave, then Arsenal need a replacement as we need depth in midfield with Xhaka also gone. Romeo Lavia has emerged as a prime target with widespread reports claiming that Arsenal are eyeing a swoop for the highly-rated Southampton star. Lavia only joined the Saints from Man City last summer but starred in his debut campaign. The 19-year-old was excellent in the middle of the park and has caught the eye of Arteta and his scouting team.

However, Arsenal will face stiff competition as the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea are also showing a keen interest in the Belgian youngster. With so many Premier League giants vying for his signature, Southampton want at least £40m for Lavia this summer. Arsenal have so far baulked at the valuation so they’ll have to lower their demands if a deal is to be done.

Veiga alternative

If Arsenal are priced out of a move for Lavia, they already have an alternative lined-up with Gabri Veiga emerging as a target. The Spanish U21 international was outstanding for Celta Vigo last season where he scored 11 goals in 36 games and the La Liga outfit are resigned to losing him this summer as he has a very reasonable £34m release clause in his contract.

Arsenal are now reportedly looking to turn their attention to the 21-year-old but once again will face fierce competition as Liverpool, Manchester City, Real Madrid, and Chelsea are also showing a keen interest in the young midfielder.

So it seems Arsenal will face to battle some big European clubs if they want to strengthen their midfield to sign either Lavia or Veiga this summer. But Arteta isn’t done in the market and we should see plenty of out-goings and in-comings at the Emirates Stadium over the coming weeks.