Arsenal will prepare themselves for a barrage of exits with skipper Cesc Fabregas and fellow first-teamers Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy all ready to move on.
The Fabregas-to-Barcelona saga finally seems to be heading towards its final stages, with Arsenal believed to ready to sell him if Barca tables the right offer. The Catalans had a £27 million offer rejected last week but are confident of securing his services for £35 million, though Arsenal are holding out for £40 million with the inclusion of add-ons.
The significant pointer that the saga is edging towards its conclusion lies in the evident change in Arsenal's attitude. Last summer, the Gunners blatantly rejected every approach from Barcelona, while maintaining that Fabregas was not for sale. This year however, they are open to personal talks and seem ready to part with their captain for the right price. Importantly, the proceeds from his sale will go towards manager Arsene Wenger's transfer fund, through which he will attempt to complete the signings of Gary Cahill, Gervinho and Ricardo Alvarez.
The man in the centre of all the attention - Fabregas, is currently in holidaying in Spain and despite the uncertainty over his future, the 24-year-old maintains that he is 'calm and optimistic'.
I'm calm and I am optimistic. I have nothing to say and there is nothing to speak of, he said in AS. If something happens, it is because it has to happen. For my part, I've begun to get in shape, which is what I have to do. If a player is on the market it is because the club does not want him. I have no problems.''
The Daily Telegraph reports that the unsettled and unwanted duo, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy respectively, are set to follow Fabregas out of London with moves to Manchester. The report suggests that United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is confident of bringing in Nasri for £20 million, despite Wenger stating earlier this month that one thing's for sure, we're not selling him (Nasri) to Manchester United.
Nasri has just a year remaining in his contract, and as he refuses to sign a new deal the Gunners risk losing him for nothing next season - something which Wenger has promised to avoid. However, the Frenchman is unlikely to sell one of his star players to an arch-rival.
The report also suggests that Clichy is linked to United's local-rivals Manchester City. Roberto Mancini is ready to make a £7 million bid for the left-back. They are also interested in Nasri, though he is not their priority.
Interestingly, The Daily Mirror, has reported that Wenger will attempt to keep hold of Nasri by completing the signing of his friend - Lille striker Gervinho. Nasri has made it clear in no uncertain terms that purchasing quality players would tempt him to continue at the Emirates, and Gervinho's strong season puts him in that list. Encouragingly for Arsenal, Nasri has given Gervinho, who is also pursued by Manchester United, a glorifying report on the Gunners.
The London side are also said to have made significant progress in their bid to sign Cahill, who will add much-needed quality at the heart of their defence, from Bolton. Wenger could also make a bid for Blackburn defender Chris Samba if he manages to sell flop-centre-back Sebastian Squillaci.
Their pursuit of the highly-rated Eden Hazard however, will face a big challenge from the heavy-spending French side Paris St Germain, who according to talkSport are ready to make a bid for the Lille star.
Meanwhile, The Times has reported that Arsenal's pursuit of Spanish young-gun Juan Mata will be challenged by local-rivals Tottenham Hotspur.