Arsenal finished fourth in the English Premier League table for the 2012-13 season, earning a Champions League berth by narrowly topping Tottenham on the points table and ending the year with a win over Newcastle United.
Now, the real fun begins for Arsene Wenger—it's time for the Gunners' manager to make his pitch to prospective players on the idea of coming to Emirates Stadium to help Arsenal move back to the top of EPL play during the 2013-14 campaign.
Already, the rumour and news mill has been buzzing with Arsenal activity.
For starters, the Daily Mirror reported that Wenger will be able to boast deep pockets this summer, as merchandising deals and a large TV contract will help generate £70 million in revenue to use as bait for those looking for a change of scenery this summer.
With Arsenal already boasting a solid-enough squad to earn a Premier League berth, adding several pieces to provide depth and talent to a growing roster could make Arsenal a dangerous team next season. Here's a look at three names that are circulating in the latest roundup of Arsenal transfer news.
On a deal that would be somewhere around £8 or £10 million, the 28-year-old Williams was confirmed as wanting a move—per the report—to an English club that would be playing in top competition next season.
With Arsenal earning the Champions League bid, Williams' needs for that demand have been met.
Liverpool had been active in their pursuit of the Swansea City captain, who completed a terrific season in helping establish his current club as an EPL team in the first place. Although no deal is officially in place, The Sun is also reporting that Williams and the Gunners are closing in on a new deal—a move that could spell the end of Thomas Vermaelen's time with the club.
The Aston Villa star knotted 19 goals for the club this season, helping it stave off relegation from the Premier League and establishing himself as a hot candidate to transfer to a bigger club during the transfer window.
According to the Daily Mirror, Tottenham and Arsenal are the top two targets for Benteke's affection.
Where will Benteke start the 2013-14 season?
With three years left on his contract at Villa, there's no guarantee that his current club would even hint at the possibility of his availability, but with Arsenal's interest likely high through their deep pockets and Tottenham eager to add talent around star Gareth Bale, anything is possible.
Per the report, Atletico Madrid have also expressed interest in Benteke.
Keeping Villa relevant will be Benteke's job if no club can tempt him away from Villa Park, but if not, he will command some serious wages next season and would likely double—or triple—his current rate if bought by a rival club.
In short, there's nothing to get excited about on this front yet, but his comments in the piece lead to the theory that no call should be stuffed just because he has a long contract and is integral to Villa's success next year.
A week later, new reports have Arsenal as one of the highest bidders for his services.
The Daily Mirror first broke that Arsenal was ready to "smash the wage structure" to bring Rooney to town, mindful that other interested clubs like Chelsea, Paris St-Germain and Monaco would not have any problem doing the same.
After selling Robin Van Persie to United last summer, getting Rooney back from the Red Devils would certainly be an interesting turn of events in the Premier League setting.
As reported by Metro, Arsenal is prepared to offer Rooney £200,000 per week to complete a bid for his services, and if Rooney wants to join a fellow Premier League club without losing any of his high-level European games like the Champions League, Arsenal is a great place to go.
The latest report also feels it will take at least £25 million in bid money to get United to bite on negotiations for the 27-year-old star. Rooney is the biggest name linked to Arsenal this summer, and getting his services would be a huge coup for the Gunners.
With the Champions League final for this year ending most of the major competition this year, expect the transfer window to really heat up over the next few weeks.
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