Arsenal Football Club has had an eventful offseason. The announced transfer of striker Lukas Podolski to the team and the release of goalkeeper Manuel Alumnia headline the confirmed transactions. The Gunners appear to be involved in several additional moves as Euro 2012 gets underway.
According to David Ornstein of BBC, the club is on the verge of signing striker Olivier Giroud from Montepellier for £12 million. The 6’3”, 25-year-old was La Ligue’s top scorer last season and could give the Gunners a potent trio at forward with Podolski, Giroud and Robin Van Persie.
According to Metro.co.uk, winger Andrey Arshavin is "all but certain to quit Arsenal this summer," as he has been in talks with Zenit.
Also of note, Schalke 04 striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has one year left on his contract and a $25 million buyout, according to general manager Horst Heldt (via The Independent). According to The Independent, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United have all expressed interest in the 28-year-old Dutchman. Huntelaar has been on fire in the German Bundesliga league this season, with 29 goals in 32 matches.
Lastly, despite speculation about Arsenal acquiring Frenchman Yann M’Vila, the deal appears to be on hold. The Daily Mail reports M’Vila will play for Rennes this summer, with a potential move only possible after the season. The Daily Mail quoted M’Vila:
“My present at the moment is France. After the Euros we will see what happens with my future. There are many options open and I still don’t know what will happen,” he said.
Amid the flurry of activity at the forward position, heavy on Arsenal fans’ minds is the future of Arsenal striker and captain Robin Van Persie. It remains to be seen whether the club will retain the star after the additions of Podolski and Giroud.
Similarly, David Ornstein of BBC reports that Arsenal intend Giroud to accompany Van Persie, rather than replace him.
Additionally, Paul Chronnell of London24 echoed these sentiments, but also noted Arsenal management has told Van Persie to “take his time over deciding his future.” London24 quoted Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis:
“What we agreed at that meeting was that we would keep all the discussions we had over the summer to ourselves and make announcements when it is the right time.”
It will be interesting to see the ultimate fate of Van Persie, whose contract expires next summer.