Arsenal transfer round-up: Edu’s £46m masterplan, Gunners identify January ‘priority’

Renato Sanches has admirers across Europe, including Arsenal
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Edu is prepared to part ways with three players in the January transfer window to raise funds to sign Renato Sanches, according to reports on the continent.

Sanches, 24, helped Lille win an unexpected Ligue 1 title last season and he is a mainstay in the Portugal national team.

The former Bayern Munich midfielder has been heavily linked with a permanent switch to the Premier League in recent months and Arsenal appear to lead Liverpool in the race for his services.

Sanches will have 18 months remaining on his contract by the time the January transfer window opens, but he will not come on the cheap.

Indeed, Edu is preparing to offload Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah and Bernd Leno to try and raise €55million (£46m) to sign Sanches, claims CalcioMercato .

Lacazette and Nketiah are out of contract next summer, while Leno's deal at the Emirates runs until 2023.

The report adds Lille would find it difficult to say no to an offer of £46million for their prized midfielder.

Gunners will prioritise striker

Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are out of contract next summer
(Image: PA)

While reports in Italy suggest Sanches is Arsenal's No.1 target, Italian journalist and renowned transfer expert Fabrizio Romano insists signing a striker is the club's priority.

As mentioned, centre-forwards Lacazette and Nketiah will be free to leave next summer while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will turn 33 next June.

Romano suggested the Gunners could rekindle their interest in Inter Milan star Lautaro Martinez, telling the The Arsenal Lounge : "From what I'm told the priority for Arsenal, in (the) last days of the summer window and in January or next summer if it won't be January is a striker.

Lautaro Martinez is still on Arsenal's radar, according to Fabrizio Romano
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"They want to sign an important striker, they know they need an important striker so the mission is to get one. They were trying for Lautaro Martinez in the summer but it was really complicated to sign him, almost impossible.

"Then they were trying for Tammy Abraham, who was another option but then he joined Roma. They always wanted this kind of striker and they are working on this.

"I expect Arsenal to sign a new striker but I don't know if they will be able to do it in January because the January transfer window is never easy."

Bernd Leno's Arsenal future is the subject of intense scrutiny
(Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Contrasting Leno reports

To make matters more confusing this midweek, a separate report suggests Leno will not be sold in the January window.

Although the German, 29, has lost his place to Aaron Ramsdale, The Athletic claims Mikel Arteta would like to hold on to him until at least the end of the season.

The report also asserts Mohamed Elneny will be kept for the good of squad depth despite his strong links with Galatasaray.