Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Latest on Wayne Rooney, Ashley Williams and More

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United takes and subsequently misses a penalty kick during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on November 3, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Arsenal hold a one-point edge over Tottenham with two matches left in the race for a Champions League berth. The outcome will decide exactly how much leverage Arsene Wenger has during the always important summer transfer window.

Elite players are normally looking for a chance to play in Europe's top club competition; so if the Gunners are planning to aim high in the coming months, they must take care of business in very winnable matches against Wigan and Newcastle.

As Arsenal focus on locking up a coveted Champions League spot, let's examine some of the latest transfer buzz involving the club. It includes talk about Wayne Rooney, whose future at Manchester United remains up in the air.


Wayne Rooney

Rooney has spent nearly a decade with Manchester United, developing into one of the league's most dangerous attacking players during that time. Now he's 27 and where he starts next season is likely to become one of the summer's biggest transfer sagas.

Wayne Veysey of reports Arsenal and Chelsea have joined the Rooney sweepstakes, which already included Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich. It's also stated the longtime United star had requested a move before Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement.

If United decided to move Rooney, one of the biggest question marks would be whether or not staying in the Premier League is an option. If so, Arsenal could certainly use a natural striker like him to lead the attack. But it would come down to the asking price, which could be sky high if PSG is involved.


Ashley Williams

After two straight strong Premier League seasons with Swansea, it's no surprise Williams is starting to generate some attention. The 28-year-old defender has been a stalwart for the Capital One Cup champions and could handle the jump to a bigger club.

Arsenal and Liverpool are both interested in adding him to their back lines, according to Hannah Duncan of the Metro. Swansea clearly isn't in any hurry to move him, however, having reportedly placed a £10 million price tag on their budding star.

While that's definitely a high asking price for Williams, it's not an unreasonable starting point for negotiations. He would further solidify an Arsenal back line that's been the most consistent part of the club throughout the campaign.


Miralem Pjanic

Rooney and Williams are both established commodities; Pjanic is a rising star who's finally showing signs of coming into his own with Roma. The playmaker should continue to grow in the coming seasons, making him a popular target before his value potentially skyrockets.

Arsenal are among a trio of Premier League clubs, also including Manchester City and Tottenham, currently tracking him, reports Tony Little of The Sun. He's currently being valued at around £20 million by the Serie A side.

Pjanic can play attacking roles, but excels in the center. If Arsenal aren't able to secure a true lead striker such as Rooney, they will continue to need offensive depth. Knowing that, the Bosnian star would be a chance worth taking.