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Arsenal are set to keep hold of Alexandre Lacazette, Rob Holding and Emiliano Martinez for the time-being despite all of the trio’s future at the Emirates having been uncertain of late. Lacazette is no longer guaranteed starting football under Mikel Arteta while Holding was on the cusp of joining Newcastle and Aston Villa are keen to sign Martinez.

The Gunners are currently looking to balance the books and free up space in their squad while shaving down their wage bill after making five additions to the first team this summer.

Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares joined on permanent contracts after initial six-month loans while Willian also arrived from Chelsea on a fee transfer.

Arsenal paid £22million rising to £27m for centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille while Dani Ceballos has been re-signed from Real Madrid on another season-long loan.

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Yet Mikel Arteta is still eager to bring midfield enforcer Thomas Partey to north London from Atletico Madrid in what would likely be his final major signing of the summer.

Partey, though, will cost £45m due to the release clause in his Atletico contract and Arsenal must offload players to raise the funds.

The Daily Star say however that Lacazette and Martinez will not be among them – at least not yet.

Lacazette had been tipped to move on this summer with Eddie Nketiah offering extra competition for the No 9 role since January. 

The France international found himself sat on the bench as Arteta preferred Nketiah for a spell although the 29-year-old, who has two years left on his contract, did start in the FA Cup final win over Chelsea last month.

Arsenal are said to have been open to selling Lacazette, who scored just 10 goals in 30 Premier League games last term, as a result.

Atletico Madrid and Juventus are admirers of Lacazette’s talents but the Star say the two clubs have been put off by Arsenal’s £30m price tag.

It appears the frontman, signed from Lyon for around £53m in 2017, will instead stay in the English capital and battle it out to be the first choice striker under Arteta.

The Spanish coach had said of the Frenchman in July: “Why would I want to lose a player like him? I’m really happy with him. I really like Alex, I said that even before I joined here that he is the type of striker that I really like.

“I think he had periods where he was very unlucky because he was having the chances and not converting them which he is not used to.

“But the way he can link play, he’s a massive competitor he hates to lose. He goes for every ball, you see in every challenge how he’s ready to go.

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“He works really hard and he’s a very intelligent player, I am really happy with him.”

And it appears Arteta will now get his wish, with Lacazette expected to remain at Arsenal.

Likewise, Arsenal are said to be hopeful that goalkeeper Martinez will stay despite the Argentine’s desire for more starts if he is to stick around at the club.

The 28-year-old has spent 10 years at Arsenal but only enjoyed his first stint as a regular last term after Bernd Leno suffered injury.

Martinez was brilliant in the German’s absence and Arsenal would like to sign him to a new long-term deal.

But he rejected the Gunners’ latest offer this week with Premier League outfit Villa at the same time seeing another bid rejected for the shot-stopper.

The Star say the £20m-rated keeper, who could reluctantly be allowed to leave if Villa meet his asking price, is willing to stick around until later in the window before making a final decision on his future.


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Speaking last month, Martinez said: “I have shown the club that I can play for them and when I return next season I need to have more games.

“That is the only way I will stay at Arsenal. My target is to consolidate my place with Arsenal and to reach the Argentinian national team as number one.

“I won’t stop until I get that and if I don’t play for Arsenal, then clearly I would move on.”

But the Star insist Martinez is willing to bide his time as he waits to see whether Arsenal manager Arteta will prefer him to Leno at the start of the new Premier League campaign, after he started in the Community Shield win over Liverpool.

If Martinez does leave, Arsenal will have to replace him and Brentford’s David Raya is their top target, while Paris Saint-Germain’s Alphonse Areola is another who has been looked at but he appears Fulham bound.

Elsewhere at Arsenal, centre-back Holding is now to remain at the Emirates despite having been set to join Steve Bruce’s Newcastle in a 12-month loan deal.

It was thought the 24-year-old would head to St James’ Park after the Wembley win over Liverpool but due to injury over David Luiz, he now looks set to start agaisnt Fulham on Saturday (12.30pm kick-off).

And with Luiz suffering from a troublesome neck injury, Holding could stay at Arsenal beyond the closure of the window with the likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers all out injured.

New signing Gabriel does not yet have sufficient match fitness to come into Arteta’s starting line-up.

Arsenal are expected to hand Gabriel a significant role once he is up to full sharpness however, and would still like to add Partey to the batch of new recruits whom are expected to be key players in 2020-21.

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