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Unai Emery: Arsenal Will Only Sign Players Who Would 'Really Improve' the Squad

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 6, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Arsenal manager Unai Emery looks on during the Emirates Cup match between Arsenal and Olympique Lyonnais at the Emirates Stadium on July 28, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has said the team will only sign players who would "really improve" his squad amid rumours the club could make another last-ditch move for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney. 

The Premier League transfer window will close on Thursday evening. Emery spoke to reporters following Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Barcelona in the Joan Gamper Trophy and suggested Arsenal's business may already be concluded, per Goal's Chris Burton:

"It has not changed, our idea and our message. Only if we can sign a player who really, really can improve our squad, then we are going to do that. If not, then not.

"We have good competitive players to achieve or try to achieve our target this season, and we are going to be looking at something if we can sign someone, but with this idea.

"Only, and only, if we can improve."

Burton's report referenced Arsenal's longstanding interest in Scotland international Tierney, 22, who was subject of a £25 million offer from the Gunners earlier this summer.

The north London club were slow to do business but recently signed Nicolas Pepe from Lille for a club-record £72 million fee.

Journalist Layth Yousif broke down their business this summer, including a loan deal for Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, as well as permanent transfers for youngsters William Saliba and Gabriel Martinelli, both 18:

Layth @laythy29

Arsenal signings this summer: Martinelli: ✅🔥 Ceballos✅🔥 Saliba: ✅⏭🔥 Pepe: ✅✅✅🔥🔥🔥 Vinai Venkatesham: I don't recognise that transfer budget figure of £40m.... North London Is Red 🔴⚪ https://t.co/uUm2qFljzb

Saliba will spend the 2019-20 campaign back on loan with his Ligue 1 club, Saint-Etienne.

Fabrizio Romano and Ed Aarons of the Guardian recently wrote on Arsenal's increased interest in signing another new centre-back, with Juventus' Daniele Rugani and Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig each targeted.

French football writer Jeremy Smith cited a report from Bild on Monday, which suggested Arsenal still have cash in reserves to do late business following an offer for Upamecano:

Jeremy Smith @jeremysmith98

Bild reporting that RB Leipzig have rejected a €60m bid from Arsenal for centre back Dayot Upamecano. He was superb for France in this summer's Euro U21 tournament. High fee but a potentially world class defender in the making.

Optus Sport questioned whether Arsenal and Emery had prioritised their funds correctly this summer:

Optus Sport @OptusSport

Attack: 3rd in the Premier League. Defence: 9th in the Premier League Solution: Spend $128m on a forward. 🤷‍♂️ Arsenal have their man... but Unai Emery still hasn't addressed his biggest problem. https://t.co/PwASWTJPwn via @Jakeros95 #OptusSport #Arsenal

Shkodran Mustafi came under fire for a number of suspect performances last season, while L'Equipe (h/t Football.London) reported Laurent Koscielny is on the verge of a move to Bordeaux.

Full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner was released by the club in June, meaning the likes of Calum Chambers and Carl Jenkinson could stake new claims for a place in the team this term.

Football writer Sam McGuire reacted to Arsenal's proposed defensive line heading into the new season when compared to their usual top-six rivals:

Sam McGuire @SamMcGuire90

That Arsenal defence. https://t.co/rDgZsOhDea https://t.co/P4MgDmqoPt

Pepe's signing accounts for the vast majority of Arsenal's transfer spend this summer, while Martinelli cost a reported £6 million. Saliba won't arrive until 2020, however, meaning no funds have been spent to improve this season's defence.

Arsenal begin their 2019-20 Premier League campaign away to Newcastle United on Sunday.