Arsenal first-team star could leave club this summer

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta could reportedly be forced to sell key player Bukayo Saka this summer in order to fund his overhaul of the senior team squad.

The north London side currently sit in 10th place in the Premier League table, nine points adrift of the UEFA Champions League places, and are in a fierce fight just to qualify for Europe.

Were they to win this campaign’s Europa League, Arsenal would secure a place in the UCL next season – but anything less than that will have big consequences on Arsenal’s transfer plans.

The Times reports that finishing outside the top six would starve Mikel of the funds he needs to transform his roster.

The Spaniard wants to turn Martin Odegaard’s loan stint into a permanent move, which would cost at least £35 million, while a central midfielder, centre-back and new right-back are among the areas of the squad he would like to improve.

But, in order to ‘generate a competitive transfer budget’, the club will have to sell some stars – and no-one is safe.

According to the report, Mikel would even countenance the sale of one of the Gunners’ best performers this season, teenager Bukayo, in order to bankroll his ‘unprecedented’ transfer plans.

The 19-year-old has enjoyed a strong season, scoring five times in the Premier League, and the Londoners would be loathe to lose an academy player with so much potential.

But the Englishman also represents their most sellable asset and would generate more money than any other star in the squad.