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Arsenal drop Gabriel Jesus shirt number hint amid ‘cautious optimism’ over £50m deal

Arsenal are growing increasingly confident that they will be able to sign Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus,. with all parties open to completing a deal during the summer window

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Arsenal are growing increasingly optimistic that they will get the deal to bring Gabriel Jesus over the line – and they are leaving his shirt number free.

Mikel Arteta made it abundantly clear to Gunners bosses that he would need to be backed in the transfer window, having agonisingly missed out on the top four last season. “Players that come here have to be able to take us to the next level,” he explained at the start of the window.

“We already have a level, and we want to see much better standards than we already have, and that is how we’re going to recruit. It’s what we planned, but the market is difficult, it’s complicated.”

And Arsenal bosses are delivering on his demands and look set to back him heavily in the summer window for the second straight year. Having splashed out almost £150million on new recruits in 2021, there is now an expectation they could spend even more this time around.

Brazilian youngster Marquinhos was the first through the doors, but while the winger was signed with an eye on the future, Fabio Vieira arrives with the aim of having an instant impact. FC Porto have confirmed the attacking midfielder’s transfer in a deal worth £34m.

Vieira makes the switch to north London having helped Porto to the Portuguese title, registering a massively impressive 16 assists in Liga NOS alone. But he can’t finish the chances he creates and that brings Arteta’s top priority to the fore.

Fabio Vieira is set to become Arsenal’s second signing of the summer
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Poll any Arsenal fan and there is no doubt that a striker was the number one requirement for this window, having seen Pierre-Emerick Aubameayng and Alexandre Lacazette leave on a free in the last six months.

Those departures mean that Eddie Nketiah is set to be the only senior centre forward going into the new season, after he performed a U-turn to stay at The Emirates. Nketiah now looks set to sign a new contract, but there is a hope he will be first deputy, rather than first choice when the season kicks off.

Along with his new contract, the 23-year-old is also set to adopt a new shirt number – following in the footsteps of Thierry Henry and Aubameyang with the iconic No.14 jersey. And not only does that satisfy Nkeitah’s demand to be a more integral member of Arteta’s squad, it also leaves the door open for Jesus to take the mantle as their new number nine.

Gabriel Jesus will be able to take the No.9 shirt, if he joins Arsenal this summer

Lacazette vacated the shirt at the end of last season and there has yet to be a replacement, meaning the Brazilian striker could continue with the same number he has worn at both Manchester City and the Selecao.

The Gunners boss is all too aware of Jesus’ talents having worked alongside him during his time as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at the Etihad. Sky Sports report that City are holding out for £50m, but there is now cautious optimism that the transfer will be completed.

Meanwhile, Arsenal continue to be linked with a move for Youri Tielemans from Leicester City, whilst reports claim an opening bid for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez has been rebuffed.

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