Arsenal have transfer edge over Chelsea as Stan Kroenke looks to grant Mikel Arteta £51.4m wish

Arsenal enter a summer window with the hopes of a third successive title challenge as Mikel Arteta establishes the Gunners among the elite clubs in the world. What was once seen as a potential one-season wonder in 2022/23 has evidently shown little sign of fading so far.

That of course means that the summer of 2023 which brought with it a record spend and the first £100million-plus player in Declan Rice arriving has set expectations even higher for 2024. Across London however, Chelsea are not expected to be close to the race for even qualifying for the Champions League which at the start of Mikel Arteta’s tenure at the Gunners was certainly something of an opposite scenario.

Chelsea have taken many targets once linked with Arsenal to Stamford Bridge from Eden Hazard to even as recently as Moises Caicedo. However, with both teams keen on Sporting CP’s Ousmane Diomande there is a change in the scene.

According to the Record via Sport Witness, Arsenal have set the cogs in motion to begin negotiations for Diomande despite Chelsea supposedly offering €60million (£51.4million) already. Nothing has been agreed with the Portuguese side who could also see Goncalo Ignacio and Viktor Gyokeres leave in the summer, both of whom have also been linked with moves to north London.

When it comes to a choice between the sides it might seem, on paper at least, an easy choice. Arsenal will, barring a catastrophe, be a Champions League side again next season, a club consistently progressing under a coach expected to commit his future to the long term with a record of improving young players and with hopes of winning plenty of silverware.

Meanwhile, Chelsea’s pathway is uncertain, they may or may not be in European action next season. That said, Diomande would certainly have a starting place in the Chelsea team with many questions over several of their defensive signings.

Arsenal meanwhile look to have a settled centre-back pairing of William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes. However, Arteta has been scrutinised somewhat for needing to improve his squad rotation and with the number of games the club will be expected to play next season as the Champions League expands, having quality throughout the team will provide plenty of chances to Diomande were he to pick the Gunners.

However, the proposed figures also raise questions to some degree. Arsenal have greater needs in midfield and up top.

Sporting director Edu Gaspar and soon-to-be managing director Richard Garlick will be in charge of spending in the summer, under the ownership of Josh Kroenke. Balancing how the club directs investment whilst also working within the confines of Profit and Sustainability Regulations with Chelsea too under persistent financial scrutiny will be key.

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