(Reuters) - Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta does not expect the club to make any major signings in the January transfer window but said he is hopeful captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will sign a contract extension.
After investing heavily in the close-season to secure the likes of Nicolas Pepe, Kieran Tierney, David Luiz and Gabriel Martinelli, British media reported Arsenal are working with a modest transfer budget this month.
“I’m not expecting big things,” Arteta told a news conference ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday.
“I’m expecting big things from the players I have at the moment, the players that are recovering from injuries.
“If we can find something to help us go through the season in a more balanced way in certain areas, and is helpful, we’ll look at the options.”
An injury to Calum Chambers, who is expected to be out for six to nine months after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee, means Arsenal are looking for defensive reinforcements.
Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng has been linked with Arsenal in recent weeks, with Sky Sports reporting the German champions would be ready to let him leave for around 15 million euros ($16.65 million).
“We have some bad injuries to players who are going to be out for a long time and we have to see if we can find options there,” Arteta added.
Earlier this week, Aubameyang said he remains committed to Arsenal and wants to help them challenge for major honours again.
Arteta has said keeping Aubameyang, who has 18 months left on his current deal, at the Emirates Stadium is a major priority for him and the club.
However, Arteta confirmed the club were yet to open talks with the striker over a new contract.
“We haven’t discussed that,” the Spaniard said. “But I’m confident that he’s very happy here because that’s what he said in the media.
“He knows exactly what I think about him and obviously he’s a massive player for us. But at the moment we’re in the middle of the season and we haven’t discussed anything further on that at the club.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis