Published On: Wed, Jun 17th, 2020

Arsenal chief Edu confirms transfer talks with Mikel Arteta over summer targets | Football | Sport

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Arsenal technical director Edu insists Mikel Arteta is taking an active role in their effort to acquire players this summer.

After years of Arsene Wenger having the final say on incomings and outcomings, Arsenal have shifted their model for a more rounded approach.

Now, head of football Raul Sanllehi, managing director Vinai Venkatesham, Arteta and Edu all have a say in the transfer approach.

Following the impact COVID-19, Arsenal are set to be short on funds to spend and desperately need to qualify for the Champions League.

Ahead of the Premier League restart, Arsenal are eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and could be left hoping Manchester City’s ban from European football is upheld to allow fifth place to become the final position for Champions League next season.

The likes of Thomas Partey and Dayot Upamecano have been linked with a move to the Emirates but the chances of those happening are dependent on how Arsenal finish the season.

Speaking in an interview with The Athletic, Edu confirmed discussions are already underway about their transfer targets.

“Mikel has to be involved in recruitment, he must,” he said.

“We talk about what we need, the characteristics of the players, the system we’re going to play and then I start the process internally.

“That’s my role. If he has names, if he advises or wants advice on players, that’s fine. If he wants to talk to the other guys (like scouts) of course he will talk to them, but normally that’s my process.

“That’s why the relationship between us needs to be very strong. I have to understand his points and he has to understand the club’s points. Then we build everything together — that’s the main point.”

Edu also spoke of the warm rapport he built with Arteta as they talked during the interview process.

“My first conversation with him was not about football and that’s what I really loved,” Edu added.

“It was about concepts, respect, people and staff but not football.

“My beliefs and his beliefs are the same. We were talking about life, about family, how important it is for the players to understand the importance of being together and respecting the club.

“After that conversation I was really surprised — we connected straight away with our ideas, philosophy and lifestyle. So before we went through the technical part, I felt he was a special guy.

“After that, we went to football. I explained to him the team we had, the system we played, the system we believe we can play in the future, how we see the team. I did a presentation to him about our squad and then listened to his thinking. He was really excited. It’s important to give the guy you are interviewing the real picture of what we have. And then there was a presentation by him to show me a little bit about his philosophy. Then we, together, started to create a plan.

“We interviewed a lot of people and that was a very beautiful experience for me, less than six months into the job myself. You have to get to know the person, not just the coach. You see his family, his children, his character as a father and husband. That’s what I call the base. He has a very, very, very beautiful base.”

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