Signing a coach from Manchester City in Mikel Arteta has many benefits. For one, Arsenal landed a great tactical mind who had worked with a coaching prodigy in Pep Guardiola. However, other benefits included being able to land players who might otherwise have gone elsewhere due to previous connections. One player who fits that bill would be Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian is expected to leave City this summer, after they completed the deal for Erling Haaland.
City, though, want to make a quick decision and get their squad building efforts in place before pre-season begins. The Gunners, then, have been given a deadline to push on and make sure they get a deal arranged for Jesus. If they cannot achieve a deal with the Citizens by the end of June.
Jesus himself has admitted he is leaving the club, admitting to ESPN Brasil: About my future, it’s still uncertain. I have a contract with City and I have already expressed my desire to the City people and to my agent. I have in my head very clear what I want.”
Arsenal are believed to be very keen to do the deal, with a fee in the region of £50m expected for Jesus. A high-pressing, high-energy forward, he would be the ideal fit for the way that Arteta wants the Gunners to play. However, the 25-year-old is yet to agree terms with Arsenal despite discussions going on with his entourage since late 2021.
The Gunners, then, need to make a move and get things rolling so that they can make the deal stick. The worry is that they might need to wait until close to the deadline to get the money together to complete the deal.
Aaron Hickey transfer on hold?
Another name being linked is that of Aaron Hickey. The former Celtic and Heart of Midlothian wing-back has enjoyed a stellar time with Bologna in Italy. He would have played briefly with Takehiro Tomiyasu, too, and it is believed the Japanese has endorsed the signing when asked of his opinion on the young Scot. International colleague Kieran Tierney has also been effusive in his praise of Hickey, it is believed.
However, any deal for Hickey is only hold until at least July. This comes down to finance and the fact the European transfer windows do not typically open until July. Hickey is seen as a target that Arsenal would like, and fits their profile of a young player who is already playing at a high level.
Keen to add more youth to the team whilst making sure they have good experience, Hickey ticks a lot of boxes. However, with Bologna keen to get a bidding war going – AC Milan have been linked with making a deal – Arsenal might need to be patient with this one.
Things are going on in the background, but the challenge is doing deals when and where they become available. For some deals, like those for Hickey and Jesus, it might be a case of playing a waiting game until the right moment appears.