Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reacts to Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar transfer rumours

Mikel Arteta has been quizzed on Arsenal’s transfer targets Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar ahead of this wqeekend’s Premier League clash with West Ham and, as expected, the Spaniard was coy in his response.

“I cannot talk about players that aren’t at our football club,” Arteta insisted.

The Gunners boss feels he needs reinforcements in the centre of the park and he has two top targets.

Partey has been on the north Londoners’ radar for some time but Atletico Madrid will not let him leave for any less than his £45million release clause.

Lyon ace Aouar’s stock rose as he guided his club into the Champions League semi-finals last term.

But the Ligue 1 side are under no pressure to sell the 22-year-old, who could be available for around £45m.

Arteta also needs to find another goalkeeper to challenge Bernd Leno for a starting spot after Emi Martinez was allowed to join Aston Villa for £20m earlier this week.

“With the departure of Emi, a big loss, we have to replace him,” Arteta added. “In football, the hours can become days. I cannot tell you.

“Depending on what happens with the goalkeeping position. The market is still open but thinks can change.”

Perhaps the best bit of business Arsenal have done this summer is convincing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to sign a three-year contract extension amid links to Barcelona.

“I knew what was coming so I was relaxed,” Arteta explained. “I’m really pleased to convince Auba to stay, with the terms as well.

“As well really pleased to see the reaction at Colney and with our fans.

“It’s a joy to work with him. We have a really transparent relationship. The way he behaves and performs is exactly what I want.

“It took a lot of work so thank you for supporting us because it was key. It was worrying because it’s hard to replace strikers of that calibre so I’m really pleased.

“I think the big reason Auba’s staying is because we have an incredible football club. He feels how much love he’s got from the fans.

“I played my part but the club and the people that have been able to put a package together for him to stay deserve credit.

“The size of our club is as big as those names [Barca and Milan].”