Arsenal ‘discussions ongoing’ as Mikel Arteta expected to sanction late move

Arsenal star Rob Holding is expected to leave the club this week, according to reports. It is claimed that discussions are ongoing and Mikel Arteta will sanction a late move for the defender.

Arsenal have already allowed Kieran Tierney to leave, with the left-back completing a loan to Real Sociedad on Sunday. Folarin Balogun is also set to follow him through the exit door.

The Gunners will receive a fee of around £38million for the striker. Balogun will return to Ligue 1 after his successful loan spell at Reims last season.

After splashing out around £210m on new signings, Arteta will continue to ease out players he views as dispensable. Holding has not featured in any of Arsenal’s three Premier League squads so far this season.

And it looks like he could be the next player on his way. Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano says it is expected that the 27-year-old will leave before Friday’s 11pm deadline.

Talks are continuing to enable Holding to move elsewhere. It is claimed that Spanish clubs are interested in signing the ex-Bolton star.

Besiktas were interested in Holding earlier in the window but a deal was unable to be struck. Holding has made 162 appearances for Arsenal since joining in 2016.

He is one of the few remaining members of the Gunners squad who played under legendary former boss Arsene Wenger. Mohamed Elneny, who is working his way back from knee surgery, and Reiss Nelson are the other two.

Holding fell further down the pecking order following Jurrien Timber’s arrival this summer. Timber is now set to miss much of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury but that doesn’t look set to block a move for Holding.

He drew strong criticism when he came into the side for the stricken William Saliba last season. Arsenal’s title charge capitulated and Holding was often the scapegoat for the results.

There could still be further departures from the Emirates before the window shuts. Cedric Soares, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Nicolas Pepe and Nuno Tavares are among the players to be training away from the main first-team group.

All four spent time away from the north London club on loan last season. Cedric and Pepe are in the final year of their contracts, while Lokonga and Tavares have both received interest from fellow Premier League sides.