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Arsenal transfer news: Benjamin Sesko rejection leads Mikel Arteta to 'rethink' striker signing

Arsenal 'could abandon' key transfer plan after brutal striker rejection
© Reuters
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta could reportedly his pursuit of a new striker for the 2024-25 campaign after Benjamin Sesko's RB Leipzig contract extension.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has reportedly altered his side's striker plans for the summer transfer window after their failure to lure Benjamin Sesko away from RB Leipzig.

Despite the presence of Kai Havertz, Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah, a fresh face in the number nine position is believed to have been on Arsenal's agenda for some time.

At one stage, the Gunners appeared to be on the right path to a deal for Sesko, whose previous Leipzig deal included a £55m release clause amid interest from Chelsea and Manchester United.

As neither of Arsenal's Premier League rivals can offer prospective signings Champions League football next season, the Gunners were ostensibly at the head of the queue, and Sesko had apparently given the green light to a switch.

However, Leipzig were always hopeful about their chances of tying the Slovenia international down to a new deal, and they announced earlier this week that his terms had been extended until the summer of 2029.

RB Leipzig's Benjamin Sesko during the warm up on February 13, 2024© Reuters

Arsenal could 'abandon' striker search after Sesko rejection

Sesko's new terms reportedly include a gentleman's agreement allowing him to depart in the future, but his immediate rejection has forced Arteta into a rethink for the 2024-25 campaign.

Alexander Isak, Victor Osimhen and Viktor Gyokeres will all prove too expensive for the Gunners, who have apparently also cooled their interest in Ivan Toney and are likely to lose out to Manchester United or AC Milan in the race for Joshua Zirkzee.

According to The Telegraph, Arteta is no longer desperately pursuing a new striker for the upcoming transfer window, even though home-grown academy product Nketiah is likely to depart in the coming weeks.

Havertz thrived as a centre-forward in the closing stages of the season and is also expected to lead the line for Germany at Euro 2024, while Jesus will stay put despite previous talk of a possible departure.

The Brazil international supposedly feels that he can return to his best form with an uninterrupted pre-season period, having struggled with a series of knee injuries since arriving from Manchester City.

What positions could Arsenal target instead?

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta pictured on April 9, 2024© Reuters

While Arsenal are not expected to turn their nose up to any viable striker opportunities that come their way, Arteta also has a few other positions on his summer agenda, including a new winger.

Reiss Nelson's likely exit will leave Bukayo Saka particularly short of cover on the right-hand side, and two La Liga products - Girona's Viktor Tsygankov and Athletic Bilbao's Nico Williams - are said to be highly thought of.

With Thomas Partey also expected to depart, Arteta has been tipped to bring a new defensive midfielder to the Emirates, but none of the Gunners' aforementioned targets - Bruno Guimaraes, Amadou Onana, Martin Zubimendi and Douglas Luiz - appear to be attainable.

Further back, a new number two goalkeeper will be on the shopping list if Aaron Ramsdale leaves, while the left-back area has been highlighted as one requiring improvement, but Arteta is already blessed with several options in that area.

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RB Leipzig's Benjamin Sesko on April 13, 2024
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