MIKEL ARTETA could be more active than expected in his first transfer window as Arsenal manager after it was confirmed defender Calum Chambers’ season is over.
Arteta, though, has insisted he has no plans to sell captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, amid reported interest from Real Madrid in the striker.
Chambers will be sidelined for six to nine months after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee in the 2-1 home defeat to Chelsea on December 29.
The defender had featured in 18 games this season with the 24-year-old’s form one of brighter parts of Arsenal’s sluggish season so far.
With Arteta short of defensive cover the former Manchester City coach will discuss Arsenal’s options with technical director Edu and head of football Raul Sanllehi.
‘We will try to be in the market to see options that can strengthen the team and we will be working on that,’ said Arteta.
‘My obligation is to give my opinion on the things we can improve. Obviously we have a bad injury with Calum that will change our plans at the back.
‘The reality is we will not be able to do much. I’m more concerned about getting players back from injury and try to improve the players I have here.
‘If something extra comes up and we think it is the right opportunity to improve what we have, then let’s do it.’
Meanwhile, head coach Arteta has no intention of allowing Aubameyang, 30, to leave even though he only has 18 months left on his contract.
‘I don’t even think about the possibility with Auba,’ Arteta said. ‘I want him here.’
The forward captained Arsenal on New Year’s Day and Arteta said of that 2-0 win over Manchester United: ‘This is the least we have to expect from the team.’