Arsenal chief Edu may be set to end 22-year transfer hoodoo

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Arsenal could very well bring an end to their dreadful record in the free transfer market this summer with reports in Spain indicating Ilkay Gundogan is a top target for the Gunners. Manchester City have so far failed in talks with Gundogan to get him to sign an extension with his current contract expiring in the summer.

With time running out, it looks increasingly likely that Gundogan will leave the Etihad as a free agent this summer. At 32 years old, Gundogan is still in the prime of his career and will be seeking one final big contract.

If not at City, Arsenal appear willing to offer the Germany international what he wants with Spanish outlet Sport claiming Mikel Arteta is ‘interested’ in the midfielder. They won’t be alone in wanting to sign Gundogan though, with Barcelona also said to be monitoring his situation.

But it’s in midfield where Arteta has stated that he wants reinforcements and signing players with a winning pedigree will be key to helping Arsenal maintain a foothold towards the top of the Premier League. The start of the rebuild under Arteta was all about signing young and talented stars capable of being moulded into world-class players.

Now, Arsenal appear to be targeting more experienced players to join Arteta’s squad and Gundogan would certainly fit that bill. They’ve already made City pay after signing Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko last summer, both of whom are playing a vital role in Arsenal’s bid to win their first Premier League title since 2004.

And stealing Gundogan away from the Etihad for free would arguably be an even better piece of business than either Jesus or Zinchenko joining. It would also bring an end to Arsenal’s wretched record in signing players out of contract.

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Willian and Cedric Soares were the last two players Arsenal signed for free back in 2021, both of whom struggled to make an impact at the Emirates. The likes of Sead Kolasinac, Yaya Sanogo, Marouane Chamakh and even William Gallas have all failed to live up to expectations when signed as free agents.

Not since Sol Campbell left rivals Tottenham for Arsenal back in 2001 has a player made any real impact for the Gunners when signed for free. Campbell won two Premier League titles during his time at Arsenal and was a key part of the ‘Invincibles’ team back in the 2003/04 season.

Gundogan would still have to prove his worth if he does make the switch to the Emirates this summer, but there’s no doubting his talents and he would instantly bolster Arteta’s options in midfield.

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