Arsenal have given the green light for manager Mikel Arteta to spend big on West Ham United’s Declan Rice and Brighton & Hove Albion’s Moises Caicedo this summer, the Times report.
The north London giants look set to miss out on the top-flight title after a late season slump but a second-place finish is quite impressive where they were last term.
The club will also receive added revenue with their return to the Champions League and the Times claim they will back Arteta with a record spending spree in the next transfer window.
The hierarchy have given the go-ahead to spend over £200 million this summer and Arteta wants Rice and Caicedo. The Premier League duo could cost £170m.
The Gunners may have to recoup part of the funds from player sales. Granit Xhaka, Emile Smith Rowe, Folarin Balogun and Nuno Tavares could leave.
Rice and Caicedo would be statement signings
Caicedo was a top target for the Gunners in the last transfer window, but Brighton were adamant that he was not for sale.
The Ecuador international has been a revelation since his Premier League debut last year. He has impressed with his superb defensive attributes and impressive distribution from the centre of the park.
However, the youngster also has the ability to play at right-back when required. Caicedo recently starred in the wins over Manchester United and Arsenal. He won an impressive 14 duels last weekend.
He would be a terrific piece of business for the Gunners. £70m was not enough to convince the Seagulls last summer. Arsenal may need to improve their offer to £80m to prise him away.
Rice has been a proven performer in the Premier League for several years. His terrific ball control and passing have been his strengths. He could play in the number eight role at Arsenal.
If the duo were to join the club, this could have a direct impact on the starting positions of Xhaka, Thomas Partey or Jorginho.
Xhaka has been superb in the advanced central midfield role this campaign, but we won’t be surprised if he pushes for a new challenge. The Swiss may not want to become a back-up option.