If missing out on the Champions League was motivation to get the squad ready early this summer, then it’s certainly working on Edu and Arteta.
And according to reports from the highly reliable Gunnerblog from The Athletic, it looks as if the Gunners have all but confirmed a deal that will see Daniel Ballard leave the club on a permanent basis.
The report states that Arsenal are now in advanced negotiations with Burnley over a transfer for the 22-year-old, who will become one of Vincent Kompany’s first signings at the recently relegated side.
Having failed to make a senior appearance for the club so far, Arsenal were happy to let Ballard make the switch to the Championship but they will look to include a clause that essentially gives them first refusal over any potential future transfer.
The rise of Ballard has been a significant one over the last two years, from becoming the first name on Arsenal’s U23s team to landing himself as a focal point in Milwall’s 2021/22 campaign following a season spent on loan in the Championship.
Arguably one of Arsenal’s most successful loanees in recent history, Ballard has a taste for regular senior football and his appearances backed that up last season.
At this stage the transfer fee is still said to be ‘undisclosed’ but it’s believed a number of performance related add-ons will be included in the structure of the deal.
That could be quite significant given Burnley’s desire to go straight back up to the Premier League, despite their expectations to lose key players in James Tarkowski and Ben Mee, which opens the door for Ballard to lay down a starting spot.
The Athletic went on to state in their report that Kompany had a lot of say in this transfer and was pushing to sign the youngster as he looks to rebuild a tired Burnley squad known for an archaic brand of football.
The deal is likely to be finalised in the coming days as Ballard completes a medical at Burnley. We’ll keep you up to date on Twitter as soon as everything is signed and sealed.