Arsenal chief Edu prepared to ditch holidays for transfers as ‘no time to rest’

Arsenal’s relentless sporting director Edu is conscious the 75 minutes he spent sat on the bench during a Brazilian All-Star match at Dagenham and Redbridge on Monday evening is likely to represent the only rest he enjoys this summer. That’s why it should come as no surprise that the meticulous Brazilian chief was already one step ahead of the game when he voluntarily substituted himself off the field after a brief 15-minute cameo, in which his side had already shipped two goals.

The former Gunners midfielder, who donned flashy orange Adidas boots during his short-lived stint as a makeshift centre-back, is prepared to ditch his end-of-season holidays to spearhead Arsenal’s ambitious transfer plans as they seek to hunt down champions Manchester City next season.

“There is little time for me to rest, that’s just part of my role,” Edu said sincerely.

“We have to be available almost all of the time. I have to meet people, go and see people and also travel to make sure things happen. That’s just the nature of my job and it’s something I really like to do.

“When you enjoy what you do, you have no problem with it. That is the case with my work.”

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Arsenal are expected to launch a club-record bid – worth up to £90million – in the coming weeks for West Ham captain Declan Rice, who has quickly emerged as Mikel Arteta’s top transfer target.

Further midfield additions could also yet materialise with Moises Caicedo and Mason Mount on Arsenal’s short-list with Granit Xhaka expected to seal a £13m switch to Bayer Leverkusen after netting twice in Arsenal’s 5-0 victory over Wolves.

The Gunners are also eyeing reinforcements in attack and at the back, where Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi, RB Leizpig’s Mohamed Simakan and Edmond Tapsoba of Bayer Leverkusen are all admired.

Yet Edu insists it’s not entirely about shelling out big-money transfer fees, as he highlighted the importance of his vision after also declaring “we want to be fighting for the Premier League title every season.”

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He continued: “It’s not just about spending money, it’s about strategy. That’s how we have made progress and it’s how we want to continue working moving forward.

“We’ve had a very progressive year, I think we did a really good job. We know there is still a lot to do. The intention is to keep going and to keep moving forward.

“We want to be fighting for the Premier League title every year, that is our collective ambition.”

After England international duo Bukayo Saka and Aaron Ramsdale recently penned new long-term contracts, Edu is also optimistic of tying down William Saliba and captain Martin Odegaard to fresh terms following exceptional seasons.

Winger Reiss Nelson is also set to extend his stay for an additional four years – with the option for an additional 12 months – following lengthy discussions that are now finally nearing a positive conclusion.

Edu was speaking at’s charity football match, where he lined up alongside Tottenham duo Richarlison and Emerson Royal plus former transfer target Douglas Luiz of Aston Villa in a star-studded XI.

The exhibition, which was free to enter providing fans donated 1kg of food to the Tottenham Food Bank, also featured Brazilian celebrities and influencers including social media star Luva de Pedreiro, who boasts over 20 million followers on both Instagram and Tik Tok.

“The main reason I’m playing is just to be here supporting the cause, the Brazilian community and the fans,” Edu said proudly before playing down rivalries with Spurs duo Richarlison and Emerson, who both featured in their 4-1 win at Leeds on Sunday just over 24 hours earlier.

“Listen, we are just playing a friendly, friendly game. It’s so nice to have them around us as well.

“I know that people will be thinking because they’re on one side of north London and we’re on the other one but the competition is on the field.

“When you have the opportunity to be here together, we are friends, we have a good connection and relationship and that’s proof it can exist within football.”

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