Arsenal can trim their squad of a number of high-earners over the course of the summer if as many as eight first-team players leave permanently in the transfer window
The one factor stopping Arsenal from re-signing Serge Gnabry this summer is said to be financial reasons. But if Mikel Arteta and Edu can continue a recurring theme over the past year then a deal might be possible.
According to BILD, the Gunners are interested in bringing the Germany international back to the Emirates Stadium – almost six years after being left with no choice other than to sell the winger to Werder Bremen for around £5million as he had entered the final 12 months of his contract.
However, the report adds that because Arsenal missed out on Champions League qualification for next season, it means a deal for Gnabry is financially unrealistic this summer, and therefore their next chance to bring the 26-year-old back to north London will be next summer when he’s a free agent.
Although, as Bayern are currently in an identical position as the Gunners were in the summer of 2016, it would make a lot of sense for the Bundesliga champions to cash in on Gnabry in one of the next two transfer windows in order to avoid the risk of losing him for free in a year’s time.
And perhaps one strategy to make a deal financially realistic this summer could be reducing the club’s wage bill even further. Matteo Guendouzi and Konstantinos Mavropanos joining Marseille and Stuttgart respectively following successful loan spells allows the Gunners to save £3.3million based on their annual salaries, as per Spotrac’s figures and there are several other deals in the pipeline that will have even more of an impact on the club’s finances.
Not including any transfer fees, as things stand right now – after the Guendouzi and Mavropanos deals – Arsenal could be in a position to save another £40.5million on wages if the dream scenario where the other eight moves come to fruition which in total works out to be a yearly sum of £43.8million and that can only help towards future investment in the first-team squad.
This will only serve to highlight the great progress made in less than a year in terms of reducing the wage bill. Back in November, Arsenal were spending £99.8million on player wages, but following three first-team departures in the January transfer window that figure now stands at £81.5million.
Amid interest in Gabriel Jesus, Aaron Hickey and Youri Tielemans, the Gunners do appear to have more pressing targets at the moment as Arteta looks to bolster his first-team squad. But if they can get those deals over the line and bring the wage bill down even further, perhaps a move for Gnabry would be possible 12 months ahead of schedule.