By 90Min
June 14, 2019

Unai Emery has recently met with bosses at Arsenal and expressed his dissatisfaction at the club's summer transfer budget - which sits at a meagre £45m.

The Gunners failed to finish in the Premier League's top four in the Spaniard's first season in charge, while their hopes of reaching the Champions League next season were completely dashed in a 4-1 Europa League final defeat to Chelsea in Baku last month.

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Reaching Europe's premier club competition would have meant a greater transfer budget for Emery to use this summer to strengthen, but failure means he's stuck with what he's got.

It's caused a problem. Emery has made it known to people within the club that the existing budget is not enough to take Arsenal forward, and it's even impacted them already. Pablo Fornals had been an Arsenal target for several months before his £24m move to West Ham on Friday.

90min has learned that Arsenal held interest in the Spanish international for a number of months, but the limited funds on offer meant the north London club chose not to actively pursue him - the worry being that spending over half of their budget for one player was not in their best interests.

Fornals was routinely linked with a switch to the Emirates in late 2018 and early 2019 but a deal never looked likely, despite the fact Villarreal were selling for a relatively low price in the current market.

Arsenal have one of the lowest transfer budgets out of the Premier League's top ten, and are trying to move on Mesut Ozil to address the issue. His £350,000-a-week wages are straining to say the least, though may have some hope of offloading him over the summer - with Turkish Süper Lig club Istanbul Başakşehir interested in signing the 30-year-old.

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Ozil is close with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - he was even the best man at the German's wedding last week - while Erdogan also has strong ties to Başakşehir and could have some influence over the transfer.

Champions League qualification would help Başakşehir finance the deal, and there's potential to get close to the player's big wages if they decide to proceed.


For Başakşehir, signing Ozil would be a dream. The deal would be the biggest in the history of Turkish football, let alone their own club, but would be difficult to complete. Ozil loves living in London and is happy to stay (as he's admitted himself) although Arsenal remain desperate to move him on to free up wages to reinvest into the squad. 

Julian Finney/GettyImages

Ozil's contract runs until 2021.

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