Arsenal already making huge summer transfer plans with talks between sporting director Edu and Mikel Arteta starting

ARSENAL are already looking ahead to the summer transfer window, according to sporting director Edu.

The Gunners have put together the unlikeliest of Premier League title charges this season, sitting five points clear of Manchester City with 11 games remaining.

Arsenal are already making big plans ahead of the summer transfer windowGetty

One of the many positive areas for the north London side this campaign has been their recruitment – both last summer and in the winter window.

The arrivals of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, as well as Jorginho and Leandro Trossard back in January, have transformed Mikel Arteta’s team into serious challengers.

And even with the pressure of holding off Pep Guardiola’s City in an incredible Prem run-in, Edu says plans are being put in place to strengthen the squad further.

Arsenal are heavily linked with a move for West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice, who could cost upwards of £100m.

Asked when planning starts for the summer, Edu – who won two Prem titles during his time at Arsenal – said: “It’s already started because you know what’s happening in the market, everybody is doing stuff.

“You have to plan with people as well just to be prepared so when you go again in the summer you are very prepared.”

He continued: “I always make myself comfortable going into the transfer window when we’ve prepared how to face those challenges.

In the Premier League there’s a lot of clubs and a lot of good managers so the competition is hard. So as soon as you prepare well, you feel comfortable.

“So, we went into the winter period really, really well prepared and then we started to make some quick and important decisions.

“So far it’s helping the team and the team’s performing well so that’s good.”

Edu has previously spoken of the five-year plan he put in place when returning to the club at boardroom level – suggesting this would be the season to judge Arteta on.

So far, the Brazilian has been proven right. He added: “I think we’re in the right place in terms of playing well.


Arsenal chief Edu and manager Mikel Arteta are already planning transfersReuters

“Of course, the performance of the team and the way we’re playing is special. I see around us everybody wants to follow us. Everybody wants to watch us.

“I receive a lot of messages from Brazil and South America and different places which is very nice to receive.

“We are very excited with where we are at the moment, but we have to understand there’s still a journey to go, still things to do.

“Of course, we’re happy to be in moment we are now, but we have to understand there’s still things to go to keep going.”

One final push is required to finish the job. Having narrowly missed out on a top four spot last season to Tottenham, the initial target back in August was to return to the Champions League for the first time since 2017.

Has the expectation changed? Edu explained: “Every day we train, prepare in the best way possible and think in the best way possible.

“We don’t think about anything, just the next game, how we can improve ourselves, how we can be better individually and as a squad as well.

“Then come the end of the season we’ll see where we’re going to be. So, our intention is really to live week by week, game by game, enjoy the games and try to be the best version possible for the season.”

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