Arsenal Transfer Rumours: 5 Biggest Signings Likely to Happen
Arsenal's transfer dealings have come under fire in recent years.
Gone are the days when Arsene Wenger seemed to routinely unearth the most extraordinary potential talents for relatively little.
Even more worryingly, every transfer deal now seems fraught with uncertainty. Deadline days often see Arsenal targets end up elsewhere (Gary Cahill to Chelsea, for example), stay put due to broken-down negotiations (Mark Schwarzer, Yoann Gourcuff) or simply fade away, revealed as little more than hopeful speculation (Fernando Llorente).
Yet there are signs that the club may be ready to open the chequebook with more purpose. Last summer's signings of Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla showed ambition and decisive direction.
This summer, after another season of struggles and near-misses, Arsenal should show similar determination to capture key signings.
Here are five of the biggest Arsenal transfer rumours that could actually happen—based on player availability, team suitability and necessity—in the positions the Gunners are most likely to spend on this summer.
All statistics and transfer values are courtesy of WhoScored? and Transfermarkt.
GK Michel Vorm
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According to Daniel Jones in Metro, Arsene Wenger has completely lost patience with both his first- and second-choice keepers and could bid for Swansea's Michel Vorm.
Certainly, Arsenal have seen a series of goalkeeping crises. The post-Seaman years have often resembled a farce as personnel slip in and out of form like so many comic actors flitting on and off stage.
It seemed no sooner did Manuel Almunia flourish to eclipse Jens Lehmann than he completely lost confidence and in turn ceded his spot to Lukasz Fabianski.
Who was subsequently displaced by the young Wojciech Szczesny—who has now apparently lost his place back to Fabianski.
Might Wenger target goalkeeper as one of the top transfer priorities this summer? Possibly. Will the £7.5 million-rated Vorm prove the likeliest solution?
Well, he is more likely than the other tabloid favourite to wear Arsenal's No. 1: Barcelona's Victor Valdes.
RB Serge Aurier
Arsenal Need Sagna Replacement
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With Bacary Sagna openly eyeing the exit (not to mention suffering inconsistent form), Arsenal have been aware all season that they need a replacement right-back.
The Mirror has identified Toulouse's Serge Aurier as Arsenal's preferred target.
At 20, the Ivory Coast-born French national cannot replace the experience of Sagna, but with Carl Jenkinson putting in some outstanding deputy performances this season, he could be expected to nail down first-choice and allow Aurier time to develop and adjust to the Premier League.
Aurier's passing, speed and crossing ability suit him perfectly to Arsenal's game, and his aerial strength and versatility all across the back line are added bonuses.
CB Fernando Amorebieta
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Much has been made of Arsenal's alleged interest in Swansea captain Ashley Williams, as reported here by the Guardian.
But with Williams' old boss Brendan Rodgers in urgent need of a centre-back at Liverpool, they have to be in a stronger position to sign the Welshman.
A more likely signing for Arsenal would be Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Amorebieta.
According to Sky Sports, Arsenal are among a handful of Premier League clubs tracking the tough-tackling centre-back.
At 27, Amorebieta will be brought in more to do a specific job than for his prospects—and that job will clearly be adding some good-old-fashioned steel (not to mention height) to the back line. It's a characteristic Wenger has tended to neglect, but while Amorebieta's disciplinary record may cause concern, he would provide quality cover and a viable option against more physical opposition.
Having shunned a contract extension with the Basque club, Amorebieta is ready and willing to leave on a free transfer this summer.
DM Etienne Capoue
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Arsenal's most problematic position in recent seasons has been defensive midfielder.
Abou Diaby's injury record has rendered moot whether he really does have the quality to shield the back four and win back possession strategically.
As suggested in the Daily Telegraph, Wenger's preferred transfer target to fill this role is Toulouse's Etienne Capoue.
Valued at approximately £10.5 million, the 24-year-old French international boasts excellent defensive attributes, even occasionally filling in at centre-back, as well as good technique and all-around play.
FW Stevan Jovetic
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With Gervinho and Theo Walcott still not quite convincing as centre-forwards, and forgotten men like Chamakh, Bendtner, Vela and Park surely slated for off-loading, Arsenal need a strong alternative to Olivier Giroud up front.
Recent reports like this one from Metro's Danny Griffiths suggest that man could be Stevan Jovetic.
According to Griffiths, the Fiorentina and Montenegro striker has made such an impression, Arsenal are willing to break their transfer record to secure his signature.
Averaging a goal every other start in Serie A this season, Jovetic is as near to a nailed-on scorer as Arsenal are likely to get. And at only 23, the £20 million fee estimated by Metro could certainly be seen as a sound future investment on top of the team's immediate needs.
In both fee and attraction, however, finishing this season in a Champions League spot will be vital for Arsenal to sign Jovetic, who has also attracted attention from Manchester City and Juventus.