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Transfer Update: Arsenal focused on new signings amid Odegaard links, says Arteta

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The Gunners boss says that the “first part” of their January plan is more or less complete, with a number of players having departed

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal are “in the process” of trying to add to their squad before the end of the transfer window.

The Gunners boss has always made it clear that the priority this month was moving players on to reduce the numbers in a bloated squad.

And Arsenal have managed to do that, with Sead Kolasinac and William Saliba both leaving on loan, while agreements have been reached with Mesut Ozil and Sokratis to cancel their contracts early.

Those departures have freed up some space in the squad and Arteta says the focus now has switched to bringing players in, with loan deals likely to be sought over permanent transfers.

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“We are in that process right now,” said the Spaniard. “We have done the first part, more or less, and we are focusing now on the second phase.

“Obviously this market and the context makes it difficult, but we are looking at options and we will see what we can do.”

Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for Danish attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard, who has been given permission to leave Real Madrid on loan this month.

Several clubs are believed to have made an approach to take the 22-year-old, including the Gunners, but Arteta would not confirm the club’s interest.

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Martin Odegaard, Real Madrid 2020-21
“I cannot comment about players that play for other clubs,” he said.

“We are looking at various positions because the movement we have made in this window with some players leaving the club has left us a little bit short in certain areas.

“So if we can, we will do it and if we can’t, we will keep going with what we have.”

One of the areas that Arteta accepts he has been left short is at left-back, with Kolasinac having been allowed to join Schalke on loan.

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The Bosnia international’s departure means Arsenal have no natural cover for Kieran Tierney, with the likes of Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Bukayo Saka sometimes having to play out of position to plug the gap.

Arteta admits that is not ideal and says the club are exploring the possibility of strengthening in that department.

“That option is open and we will be looking to see what is available,” he said.

“With the departures of Kola we are a little bit short with left-footed full-backs at the moment. We can use Ainsley, we can use Bukayo and we can use Cedric [Soares], who has played in that position.

“So we have some unnatural options. To Kieran, obviously we don’t, but we can adapt.”

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