Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitarayan and Lucas Torreira should be sold by Arsenal to fund a major overhaul of their defence, according to former Gunners star Charlie Nicholas.
The Emirates side have been linked with a £25 million ($31.6m) summer move for Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba, while they have also been associated with a potential move for Sampdoria centre-back Joachim Andersen.
But with a reported transfer budget of just £40m, they will not have the type of funds that Nicholas believes are necessary to revolutionise an area of the team that has often been considered their Achilles’ heel for several seasons.
In order to raise funds, the Scot believes that much-maligned playmakers Ozil and Mkhitaryan should be found surplus to requirements along with defensive midfielder Torreira, who was only signed from Sampdoria last summer.
“We’re being slow again in the market,” he told Sky Sports . “The manager has identified plenty of options. Defensively is the key area.
"I just hope we don’t delay these deals. Arsenal need to get into the market.
"We can’t afford someone like Aaron Wan-Bissaka but we need a whole new defence really.
“We need three defenders to come in which will cost £60-£70m.
“Who can they get out of the door? If you can get the right offer for Mesut Ozil you’d sell.
“Mkhitaryan can go and you want to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
“Torreira seems to be interested in going back to Italy. If you can get the right money: take it.”
Arsenal conceded 51 goals in 38 Premier League matches last season, which was the third-highest figure in the division’s top 10 clubs, better than only Manchester United and West Ham.
The Gunners have yet to make any signings in the summer transfer market to date, although they have lost Aaron Ramsey to Juventus on a Bosman deal, goalkeeper Petr Cech to retirement, while Stephan Lichtsteiner and Danny Welbeck will both be released when their contracts expire on June 30.
They have a busy pre-season schedule arranged, with eight friendlies to be played throughout July, starting with Boreham Wood on July 6, before the new Premier League campaign kicks off on August 9.