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Mikel Arteta has revealed plan for nine Arsenal transfers amid squad size concerns

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Having agreed a deal for David Raya, it’s no secret what Arsenal’s main priority is for the remainder of the transfer window: selling players.

The Gunners have spent over £200million on Raya, Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber, and Mikel Arteta has already admitted that he doesn’t expect any more incomings beyond that. “At the moment we’re not planning to do anything,” he said in his press conference ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League opener with Nottingham Forest. “But the window is very unpredictable though. Things can happen, probably things that we don’t wish, so at the moment we are happy with what we’ve got.”

Part of the reason for this is the number of players Arsenal currently have on their books. As Arsenal closed out their pre-season tour of the USA in Los Angeles, Arteta admitted his squad size was unsustainable. Since returning, only three first team players – Matt Turner, Marquinhos and Auston Trusty – have left on a permanent basis.

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More are expected to follow. Arthur Okonkwo and Runar Alex Runarsson are both free to leave, while Nuno Tavares has interest from Germany and Cedric Soares has interest in Spain and Portugal. Albert Sambi Lokonga meanwhile has caught the eye of Burnley and Monaco, while Nicolas Pepe is expected to end his Arsenal career. Perhaps the highest profile potential sale of all is Folarin Balogun, for whom Arsenal have rejected a bid from Monaco amid ongoing interest from Inter Milan and West Ham.

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All of the above where left out of the squad against Forest having barely featured in pre-season. Kieran Tierney and Rob Holding also didn’t make the matchday group amid rumours that they could be off to Newcastle and Aston Villa respectively.

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While there is a hope that the futures of all nine players can be resolved before the transfer window slams shut on September 1st, in the here and now it leaves Arteta with something of a problem. As the Spaniard tries to prepare his side for crucial Premier League fixture across the remainder of August on the training ground at London Colney, sessions are made particularly difficult to plan and manage with such inflated numbers. There are people within the club wary of the example set by Chelsea last season where an oversized squad saw players forced to change in the corridors rather than the dressing room.

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Arteta has admitted that there have been some training sessions where he has found things difficult. His plan, however, is still to keep the players with no future at the club as involved as possible.

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“They are our players and we have to look after them in the best possible way and they need to be treated in the best possible way,” he told football.london in a press conference last week. “It is true that in some exercises, too many players but we have to adapt. It always happens in this window and it is part of the plan to be flexible and be understanding of the situation.”

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