Arsenal cruised to a 2-1 victory over Brentford at the Emirates on Saturday in the Premier League. Goals from Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka helped the north London side stay on track in the battle for the top four. They are currently just one point behind fourth-placed Manchester United but have two games in hand.
Meanwhile, the Gunners are preparing a move for Fabian Ruiz. Elsewhere, the north London side face competition from Everton for Cody Gakpo.
On that note, here’s a look at Arsenal’s top transfer stories as of February 20, 2022:
Arsenal prepare a decision for Fabian Ruiz
Arsenal are planning a summer move for Fabian Ruiz, according to The mirror. The Spaniard has received rave reviews for his consistent performances with Napoli. This caught the eye of the Gunners, who are among several clubs vying for his signature.
Fabian has been an integral part of Gli Azzurri’s starting XI since arriving in 2018. The 25-year-old has made over 150 appearances for the Serie A side across competitions, scoring 20 goals. He’s already netted five times this season in 25 appearances, catching the Gunners’ eye.
Gunners manager Mikel Arteta is a huge fan of his compatriot and believes Fabian has the qualities to succeed at the Emirates. The Premier League side are expected to say goodbye to Mohamed Elneny at the end of the season. Ainsley Maitland Niles is currently on loan at AS Roma, who will likely sign him permanently. Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka’s future also hangs in the balance.
Arteta hopes Fabian’s arrival could help streamline his squad. The 25-year-old is currently under contract with Napoli until the summer of 2023. The Serie A outfit want to tie him down on a new deal but the Spaniard is eager to leave. Arsenal have already taken the first steps to secure his services.
The North London side have been in contact with Fabian’s entourage to arrange a move. Napoli could benefit from him this summer if he continues to block an extension. The Serie A side are expected to demand around £16million, excluding add-ons, for their star. The price should suit the Gunners, who would not be bothered by the player’s desire to complete a four-year contract.
However, the 25-year-old is also wanted by Barcelona and Real Madrid. So the Gunners could have a battle in hand to get their man this summer.
Gunners face competition from Everton for Cody Gakpo
Arsenal will have to ward off interest from Everton to secure the services of Cody Gakpo, according to journalist Rudy Galetti.
The PSG Eindhoven star is expected to leave this summer. The Dutch winger has been on fire this season, scoring 13 times and setting up as many as 32 games in all competitions. The Gunners hope to add him to their list.
Arteta is eager to strengthen his attack this year, and Gakpo has been added to the Spaniard’s wishlist. However, the North London side are set to face competition from the Toffees for the Dutchman’s services.
Besides the Premier League duo, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich also have their eyes on Gakpo.
Mikel Arteta opens up on battle for top four
Mikel Arteta declined to engage in talks of a top-four battle, saying there was a long way to go. Victory over Brentford on Saturday helped the Gunners move closer to their quest to secure Champions League football next season.
However, Speaking after the game, Arteta was wary of looking too far ahead.
“There is a long way to go. But we are a bit closer today because we won our game. That’s what we have to do. You can see from the results how difficult it is to win in this league,” Arteta said.
“So we have to go back on Thursday, prepare very well; against Wolves it’s going to be a really tough game. We have to perform to win and play better and better; That’s the point. We can’t look too far. Things change very quickly. It’s really hard to win games in this league,” Arteta continued.
Arsenal hope to break into the top four by beating Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Thursday.