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Unai Emery has made it clear that bringing a loan signing to Arsenal this month will be difficult, although the manager suggested the impending departure of the club’s head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, would have no effect on their efforts in the transfer market.
Emery said last week that Arsenal were exploring loan deals only – the club spent heavily by their standards last summer – and he has an interest in Barcelona’s Denis Suárez, who would bring a fresh option on the wing. Emery has other targets such as the Sevilla midfielder Éver Banega as the club look to plan for the end-of-season departure of Aaron Ramsey to Juventus on a free transfer.
It has so far proved tough for Mislintat and his team to persuade potential selling clubs to part with players on loan and Arsenal would seemingly have to offer assurances that they would make any deals permanent in the summer. It is unclear whether they would be prepared to do that with Suárez.
Emery sounded a little downbeat when asked for a progress update and he seemed to suggest it would be one incoming loan, at best. “This transfer window is not easy to take players that can help us with better performances than the players we have now,” Emery said. “The club is working and I spoke with Sven, with Raúl [Sanllehí, the director of football] about different possibilities with players.
“They are working but it is not easy to take players that can help us with big performances now. We are looking, the club is working with the possibility to loan players and if we can take [somebody] for helping us in a different position on the team, then maybe we can.”
Emery was tight-lipped on the subject of Suárez. “They are conversations between us, privately,” he said. “I don’t want to say to you this private conversation with the club.”
Emery also gave nothing away with regard to Mislintat’s future, adopting his now standard feign of ignorance on weighty issues, but he maintained it had been business as usual with his colleague. Mislintat, who has grown frustrated very quickly – he joined from Borussia Dortmund in November 2017 – will continue to give his all until such time as he departs.