Arsenal could tap into the free market in 2023 to strengthen their midfield, having splashed the cash in the last two summer transfer windows.
It’s no secret that coach Mikel Arteta is keen on signing a new midfielder as the Gunners lack depth in midfield.
Fans are constantly sweating over Thomas Partey’s fitness with the Ghanaian plagued by setbacks since joining from Atletico Madrid in 2020.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Elneny is currently on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, with Albert Sambi Lokonga still settling in after arriving from Anderlecht last year.
And although he is thriving in his new role as a free-roaming No.8, Granit Xhaka is only tied to Arsenal until 2024, with no future contract negotiations on the horizon at the moment.
Gunners legend Ian Wright recently teased supporters by saying star players are ‘waiting’ to move to the Emirates if they finish in the top four.
And with Arsenal top of the Premier League table after eight games, they should qualify for the Champions League.
With that in mind, talkSPORT brings you the best midfielders available on a Bosman transfer next summer.
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N’Golo Kante – Chelsea
An Arsenal target prior to his move to Chelsea from Leicester, Kante has entered the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are unwilling to accept his demands for a four-year contract as they would rather give him a two-year extension.
Boss Graham Potter recently questioned whether the 31-year-old would sign a new contract, while club icon Scott Minto believes Chelsea may have to let him go.
With Kante settled in the capital, this could be another case similar to when Arsenal poached Willian for free in 2020 from Chelsea.
Toni Kroos – Real Madrid
If Arsenal are keen to make a statement if they return to Europe’s premier competition, what better way to show you mean business than to land serial winner Toni Kroos.
At just 32, the German maestro remains one of the best midfielders in the world having recently won his fifth Champions League title – his fourth with Real Madrid.
Approaching 650 club appearances, the 2014 World Cup winner would enter the Arsenal dressing room as a leader where he could lend his expertise to the club’s young players.
And with his former German team-mate Per Mertesacker, a key figure at Arsenal, who knows if the BFG could convince Kroos to swap Spain for England.
Ilkay Gundogan – Manchester City
It wouldn’t be a shock if Arteta attacked Manchester City for another player he coached during his spell as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at the Etihad.
Arsenal brought in Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko this summer, with the pair transforming the way the team plays.
And Gundogan, 31, would make perfect sense with the German a perfect rotation option with Xhaka.
Arsenal were even linked with a move for the former Borussia Dortmund man in May, but a move didn’t materialise.
Douglas Luiz–Aston Villa
Arsenal had three rejected offers to sign the Brazil international on deadline day with Arteta, a big fan of theirs.
The Spaniard had worked briefly with Luiz, 24, at City before the Villans signed him in 2019.
It’s even been rumored that the Gunners could reignite their interest in the Tokyo 2020 gold medalist in January in a cut-price deal.
Villa boss Steven Gerrard recently revealed that there has been no progress in convincing the player to sign a new contract in the Midlands.
He said: “There’s been no news about his staying here being extended so that hasn’t changed. We want him to stay here, the owners have been very strong to keep him here.
Youri Tielemans – Leicester
Tielemans, 25, another player closely linked with joining the North London giants, looks unlikely to stay at Leicester beyond next summer.
Arsenal chose not to move the Belgian, who reportedly claimed to want to join the club.
Former West Brom ace Hal Robson-Kanu believes it was a mistake made by Arsenal as he told talkSPORT he would have been “perfect” for them.
He remarked: “I played against him first hand. He is one of the four best players. His ball handling, the way he dictates play, he’ll move the ball through the lines and receive the ball in tight spaces.
“He’s going to penetrate and hurt the opposition from a deeper place. That’s something for Arsenal fans, and the way they want to play, he would have been perfect for them.
Konrad Laimer – RB Leipzig
One of the best players in the Bundesliga, the 25-year-old is a pressing machine – something Arteta demands of his team.
A true box-to-box midfielder, the Austrian is destined to step up a gear after establishing himself as a key player at Red Bull Arena.
But Bayern Munich would be in pole position to secure his services after retaining interest in him after being pushed back in his summer approach.
Should Laimer join the Bavarian side, he would reunite with former Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann, as well as ex-teammates Dayot Upamecano and Macrel Sabitzer.