Arsenal ‘close to agreement’ on first summer signing as Edu makes ruthless transfer decision

A big summer lies ahead for Arsenal and manager Mikel Arteta.

Although the club can still win the UEFA Europa League before the 2020/21 season reaches its conclusion later this month, it has not been a campaign for the Gunners to remember.

Looking as though they could flirt with the relegation battle in the first half of the campaign, the second half of the season has been better, but not to the standard that a club of Arsenal’s stature should be achieving.

With that said, a massive summer lies ahead for the football club, with big changes needed, both in terms of new arrivals and departures.

As reported by football.london last month, the Gunners are prepared to sell Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Eddie Nketiah this summer in an attempt to strengthen their transfer kitty ahead of looking to bring in new faces.

football.london also understands that Arsenal will be looking to strengthen between the sticks, at right-back, at left-back and the central attacking-midfield position this summer, although they hope to strengthen the last of those four areas by retaining the services of on-loan Real Madrid star Martin Odegaard.

Odegaard joined the Gunners on loan back in January and has proven to be a big hit in north London, meaning Arteta is eager to keep hold of him.

However, one Real Madrid loanee who does not look as though he will be at the Emirates Stadium next season is central-midfielder Dani Ceballos. After impressing on loan last season, the Gunners signed him on a season-long loan for the second season in succession back in September.

However, it does not appear likely that he will stay in north London beyond the end of this season, meaning the Gunners will be a central-midfielder light come the start of next term.

But to ensure Arteta does not find himself a man light in the engine room, transfer guru Edu is working hard behind the scenes to ensure the Gunners can soon secure a like-for-like replacement for the 24-year-old.

According to a report by Spanish outlet Estadio Deportivo, the Gunners are close to reaching an agreement with Real Betis to seal the signing of midfielder Guido Rodriguez.

Despite the 27-year-old’s release clause amounting to £69.5million, the Spanish club are reportedly facing financial difficulties, meaning they are going to be forced to offload him for a reduced price. But even though the fee required will be lower than the one to trigger his release clause, it will still cost Arsenal around £43.4million.

Impressively, Betis only signed Rodriguez for around £6million from Club America last year, meaning they stand to make a very tidy profit.

Rodriguez is a defensive-minded midfielder, meaning he would add a sense of steel and grit to the Gunners’ engine room, potentially acting as the ideal partner for Thomas Partey to screen the back-four and improve Arsenal’s general midfield quality.

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