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Mikel Arteta ‘makes Aouar Arsenal’s No1 target ahead of Partey’ with club not being able to afford £130m outlay on both

MIKEL ARTETA has made Lyon playmaker Houssem Aouar his number one target ahead of Thomas Partey, as reports suggest they may not be able to afford both.

Both players could cost a combined outlay of £130million in transfer fees and wages.

And in the case where only one can be afforded, Arteta is believed to be prioritising longstanding target Aouar.

The Guardian reports that if given a straight choice between the two, the Gunners boss would plump for the creative 22-year-old.

But they must first ship players out to free up the cash.

Boosting the coffers with more sales is believed to be key to also getting Atletico Madrid's robust midfielder Partey to join the club.

It all points to a busy final few weeks in the transfer market for Arteta, who is trying to shape the team in his image as he begins his first full season in charge.

Much of the North London club's business has so far been concentrated on their back five.

Despite deputising impressively for the injured Bernd Leno last season, Emiliano Martinez made a £20million switch to Aston Villa.

Runar Alex Runarsson looks set to replace him following reports of the stopper undergoing his medical yesterday.

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But reports suggest Arsenal are going all out for Brentford keeper David Raya, with the Championship club knocking back at least one bid of £10m.

It is reportedly not a plan B for Runarsson, and instead the Icelandic and Raya would be placed in the second and third choice roles, allowing Matt Macey to leave.

Arteta has also spent much time ramping up Arsenal's defence.

Gabriel Magalhaes impressed and scored on his Premier League debut as Arsenal romped to a 3-0 win at Fulham.

Arsenal collected him on a £27m deal from Lille.

They have made Pablo Mari's deal permanent despite him sustaining a long-term injury last season.

Arguably the club's best business was tying down Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a new long term contract.

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