Arsenal are reportedly still hopeful that they can eventually land top targets Thomas Lemar and Virgil van Dijk, but they’re willing to be patient.
With Gabriel having already left and with Shkodran Mustafi heavily linked with an exit this week, as noted by The Sun, Arsene Wenger could find himself short of options in defence.
However, instead of acting swiftly to address the situation before Thursday’s transfer deadline, it’s claimed in the report that the Gunners boss could be willing to wait until January to land Van Dijk from Southampton.
The report seems to stem from this tweet from The Telegraph’s Jeremy Wilson, who suggests that Arsenal don’t expect to make any major additions this week, but they will continue to monitor Van Dijk and Lemar moving forward with the intention of signing them next year.
No expectation of major Arsenal incomings. Sense they’d rather wait to see if Lemar/Van Dijk became feasible next year than go down list now
— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) August 26, 2017
According to The Mirror, Arsenal were preparing a £54m bid for Lemar earlier this month, but it has since become apparent that Monaco are unwilling to sell having seen their title-winning squad be dismantled this summer.
Meanwhile, The Irish Independent suggest that Van Dijk has dumped his agent in order to force through a £70m move to either Chelsea or Liverpool.
In turn, that would be a cool £120m+ spent on the pair, which is highly unlikely to happen before the upcoming deadline, and so it’s a risky gamble in that they can’t predict whether or not the likes of Liverpool or Chelsea will make their move and leave them empty-handed and considering alternatives anyway.
Arsenal face a big season this year given all the talk off the pitch over the futures of key individuals, while they have to deliver on the pitch and win trophies. Signing these two players would undoubtedly help them with that, but it seems as though the wait will continue for marquee arrivals for now.