ARSENAL are increasingly confident of sealing a deal for Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus.
But Mikel Arteta is scaling back on his plans for a major spending spree after initially targeting up to seven new signings.
Now he might have to settle for just three new faces as Arsenal count the cost of missing out on Champions League qualification.
And that will leave him relying on many of the players who came up just short in the fight with Spurs for a fourth place finish last season.
Arteta has told technical director Edu that he needs a squad of 22 outfield players to cope with the extra demands of Europa League football next season.
He currently has just 16, although Eddie Nketiah is expected to accept the offer of a new £100,000-a-week contract to keep him at the Emirates for another five years.
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William Saliba will join the squad after spending the last three seasons out on loan and Charlie Patino is in line to be promoted to the senior squad to help out on European duties.
Now they are stepping up negotiations for Jesus, who is currently in the Far East on international duty with Brazil.
The 25-year-old striker came on as a late sub for Neymar to score a last minute goal in his team’s 5-1 win against South Korea in Seoul.
He has put all talks on hold until after Monday’s match against Japan but is keen to get his future sorted out as quickly as possible.
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With only one year left on his Etihad contract, City are ready to listen to offers for Jesus, who cost them £27million when he was signed from Palmeiras five years ago.
Arsenal believe a bid of £40million will be enough to secure the services of a player who has been shoved down Pep Guardiola’s pecking order by the arrival of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez.
And his relationship with former City assistant manager Arteta and ex-Brazilian general manager Edu puts them in pole position to see off rival interest from Juventus, Spurs and Roma.
As well as Jesus, Arsenal are also targeting a central midfield player, with Leicester’s Youri Tielemans top of their hit-list at a likely cost of £30million.
And Arteta is also eager to sign another left-footed defender to act as cover for Kieran Tierney.
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