Mikel Arteta said on Friday the final few days of the transfer window could define Arsenal’s season as the Gunners try their “maximum” to strengthen the squad.
The FA Cup winners have been heavily linked with a number of midfield targets but are running out of time ahead of Monday’s international deadline.
It is understood that talks are ongoing with Lyon over a move for Houssem Aouar, but the Premier League club reportedly face a Friday deadline imposed by the French side.
A deal for Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey stalled some weeks ago, even though Lucas Torreira could be heading the other way on a season-long loan deal.
Other potential departures from Arteta’s squad include defenders Sead Kolasinac and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, while William Saliba has been linked with a loan move away from north London.
Arteta believes the success of his team’s campaign could hinge on the club’s activity over the next few days.
“I think it is a crucial moment because the end defines the people, the players, the balance and the quality that you are going to have, probably, for the rest of the season,” he told reporters..
“So we need to make some decisions in the next three days. I think everything has been delayed so much. It is not only us but also probably every team because of the context we are in at the moment.”
Arteta, speaking ahead of his side’s game against Sheffield United, sidestepped a question on whether he would be happy with his squad if there were no new signings made before 2300 GMT on Monday.
“It is because we can’t do more,” he said when asked what would happen if no new players came in.
“We are trying our maximum. We are maximising our resources with full support from the owners as well with what we are trying to achieve. It is whether we can do it or not.
“I am really satisfied. I know that we are all trying our best to improve the team and trying to take the direction to achieve the goals that we want.”
After beating Liverpool on penalties to reach the League Cup quarter-finals on Thursday, Arsenal return to Premier League action on Sunday and Arteta is expecting a challenge from Chris Wilder’s men at the Emirates despite their poor start.
“The season they had (last year), the way they have evolved as a team since they joined the Premier League, has been unbelievable, ” he said.
“The work that the manager has done with the coaching staff with the resources they have is remarkable. We need to be really alert and we have to play at our best again.”