Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Calling Fact or Fiction on Latest Gunners Summer Buzz
With reports that the Gunners will have a strong transfer budget to work from this summer, a slew of players have been linked with a move to the Emirates.
The transfer season is known for its craziness, and so it can be a little hard to understand which players the Gunners are and aren't interested in this summer, and which players they should and shouldn't make moves for over the summer transfer window.
So with that in mind, let's break down some of the hottest summer transfer rumors for the Gunners and call fact or fiction on the latest players linked with Arsenal.
Julio Cesar, GK, Queens Park Rangers
According to The Express, Arsenal are interested in making a move for Brazil international goalkeeper Julio Cesar, currently at Queens Park Rangers.
The London club will be relegated from the Premier League next season, and whilst the Gunners are reportedly looking into a new goalkeeper, it does seem unlikely that they'd be willing to splash out the money required to land Cesar—especially given that they only need a backup rather than a new No. 1.
Manager Harry Redknapp warned any prospective buyers that it would take Rangers will try and get good value for Cesar, meaning that "he's going to cost decent money if anyone wants to buy him." For the record, Transfermarkt currently list Cesar as costing around £3.5 million, though it would likely take more than that for the Gunners to buy him.
The biggest thing with this one is his age, and it's why I'm calling this one fiction. The Gunners don't need a 33-year-old in goals—as good as he's been this season—when they have a number of good prospects sitting on the bench already. Lukasz Fabianski has shown to be a more than capable replacement for Wojciech Sczcesny when needed and isn't anywhere near as old as Cesar.
Cesar is very good, but he's just too old to make it worth it for Arsenal.
Ashley Williams, CB, Swansea City
Having been linked with a move for Swansea City defender and captain Ashley Williams, The Metro now reports that Arsenal (or any other potential bidders) will need to put up £10 million if they wish to sign the Welsh international over the summer transfer window.
And whilst Williams has had a strong season for the Swans—winning them a surprise Capital One Cup trophy—the reality is that he isn't worth £10 million.
I think Arsenal are definitely interested in signing the defender, so I'd call fact on that part, but I can't see them spending that much to get him. They do need to add some depth into their back-line, but given they have guys like Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny to replace, say, Thomas Vermaelen if he were to be sold, they don't need to bring in an instant-starter like Williams.
This is a Premier League captain we're talking about; he would have to start if the Gunners signed him, and I just can't see that happening for £10 million.
So fact on the rumor being true, but fiction on it happening.
Stevan Jovetic, CF, Fiorentina
There's seemingly no bigger transfer rumor at the moment for Arsenal than that of Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic, who has been long linked with a move to the Emirates.
The latest reports from Goal.com state that the Gunners are in advanced talks with the club and the striker about a possible move, with the North London club thought to be "encouraged" by the Italians' cooperation around selling their star striker.
Early reports show that the Gunners would need to spend upwards of £20 million to sign Jovetic, and whilst that would be a transfer record for Arsenal, I'm calling it. It's been a rumor that's lingered for some time now, and with a strong transfer budget in tow this summer there's no doubt that the Gunners can afford to spend big this transfer window.
Olivier Giroud has finally found his feet at the top of Arsenal's attack, and so the next task must be about finding a good striker to play alongside him.
Theo Walcott is a winger—and has spoken recently via ESPN about being OK to play on the wing—and after that, there's really no other depth up front besides Giroud then. Lukas Podolski is a midfielder, and so the move for Jovetic is one that makes sense in that it gives them another striker.
Arsenal fans may be put off by his lack of goals this season, but there's little fear to have. Jovetic is a world-class striker, and he'll prove that in 2013.
Sven Ulreich, GK, Stuttgart
An interesting rumor that appeared recently was Arsenal potentially making a move for Stuttgart goalkeeper Sven Ulreich over the transfer window.
Arsenal are keeping tabs on Stuttgart's Sven Ulreich as Arsene Wenger weighs up a summer move for a new goalkeeper. Poland international Wojciech Szczesny started this season as the Gunners' No.1, but his form has dipped in recent months and at one stage he lost his place to compatriot Lukasz Fabianski. Wenger needs a solid, reliable first-choice goalkeeper for next season and Ulreich has emerged as a surprise target.
Given what we said about Cesar—age, being a backup not the starter—a move for the 24-year-old Ulreich would seemingly make sense for the Gunners.
However, the big question mark about this one is the transfer costs.
Ulreich is still under contract at Stuttgart until June 2017, which means that any move the Gunners make is going to have to be pretty significant. Stuttgart do not have a replacement goalkeeper capable of filling in for Ulreich either, so they're going to need a substantial transfer fee to be interested in selling their star goalkeeper when he finally got good.
Ulreich is currently listed at £5.3 million, but that could quickly rise to £10 million given his Europa League experience and Stuttgart's desire to keep him.
And whilst he would be a good replacement on the Gunners' bench, it's hard to see Wenger willing to spend £10 million just for a back-up shot-stopper.
Loic Remy, ST, Queens Park Rangers
One last transfer rumor to consider here, and it's another London-based player who has been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium over the summer.
The Daily Mirror reports that Loic Remy—a long-standing Gunners target—wants to move to Arsenal and remain in London next season. It's somewhat of a strange move, given that the Remy only made his move to Queens Park Rangers less than six months ago, but given the relegation clause in his contract, he's seemingly a free prospect this summer for clubs to pick up at will.
At just £6 million, Remy is an absolute steal and Wenger knows it, with the striker listed as closer to a £10 million prospect according to Transfermarkt.
He missed on getting Demba Ba when his buyout clause was hit, and I don't think he'll make the same mistake this time. Other clubs are interested, but few can offer Remy what Arsenal can—the ability to stay in London and not have to move to the other side of the country like Newcastle United.
Arsenal are in the Champions League and need depth up front—making it a win-win deal for both the club and player over the summer transfer window.
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