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Arsenal transfer: Arteta makes summer declaration, lays out Joe Willock plan

  /  autty

Mikel Arteta believes this summer could be defining as Arsenal aim to close the gap on the teams above them.

The Gunners added several new faces last summer but are no closer to achieving their ambitions.

Thomas Partey and Gabriel both arrived but Arteta may now be looking to retain some of his young stars.

Several academy graduates have become vital first team members and need to have their futures sorted.

Arteta will also be looking to keep Martin Odegaard, who is on loan from Real Madrid.

Here are the latest transfer rumours from north London.

Willock's future plans

Newcastle's hopes of signing Joe Willock permanently appear slim based on Arteta's recent comments.

The midfielder made a January loan move and has been an instant hit in the north east.

However, the Arsenal boss wants the midfielder back in north London in the summer.

He said: “He has a chance. He’s a player we really like, so, at the end of the season, he’ll come back here, and then we’ll make the decision again for what is best to move forward."

Arteta declaration

Arteta has declared that this summer could be defining for the Gunners as they aim to close the gap on the league's elite.

Arsenal are some way off the pace domestically and will need reinforcements.

Asked if it could be the most important summer in years, the Gunners boss replied: "Yes.

“Because a lot of things have happened in the last few transfer windows. There are a lot of players in various situations. It’s crucial.

"We want to go to the next level and there are a lot of things we need to do to get there.”

Smith Rowe contract talks

Emile Smith Rowe's deal does not expire for another two years but the Gunners are keen to tie him down.

The playmaker has become a crucial figure for Arsenal and Arteta is confident he sees his future at the Emirates.

He told Sky Sports : "We are going to have that discussion.

"I think Emile has earned the right to look at that situation because of the performances that he has produced.

"He's very much engaged and wants to continue with us, that's for sure."