Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Latest on Lars Bender, Gonzalo Higuain and More

Justin Onslow@@JustinOnslowNFLContributor IIJuly 1, 2013

Say what you will about Arsene Wenger’s typical unwillingness to spend on top targets on the transfer market, but he’s at least making an effort this summer.

With a reported purse of approximately £70 million to spend, the Emirates boss has been hard at work in pursuit of top talent to reload a club that finished fourth in the Premier League last term with a Champions League berth in tow.

It remains to be seen if Arsenal can come through, but the outlooks is hopeful—at least as long as the rumours of big-name transfer targets are true.

Let’s take a look at the latest on some of Arsenal’s biggest transfer targets and break down the likelihood of each move coming to fruition.


Gonzalo Higuain

Everyone is waiting for the first domino to fall. Unfortunately for Arsenal, that domino is Gonzalo Higuain, and there isn’t much to report on that front.

Higuain has been widely expected to sign with the Gunners this summer, and according to Geoff Sweet of The Sun, even the striker’s father is expecting it to happen:

The Gunners are ready to pay a club-record £22million for the Argentine, who is also wanted by Juventus.

Jorge Higuain played down suggestions that personal terms — reported to be £150,000 a week — have been agreed, but said a deal is close.

Still, there has been little development on that front—at least nothing public to suggest a deal is any closer to being done. For now, Arsenal fans are left to wait as the transfer market heats up.

For Wenger, completing a deal for Higuain would be a massive victory, both from a talent standpoint and a sign that his transfer policy truly is taking a step forward. But the longer Arsenal wait to make it official, the more likely it is another club swoops in with a more favorable offer.

As it stands, it’s hard to believe Arsenal will miss out on the striker, but there’s always the possibility. No news is often good news, but not in this case.


Lars Bender

Higuain’s potential transfer would break club transfer records, but so would adding Leverkusen’s Lars Bender.

According to Ed Malyon of the Daily Mirror, Arsenal have made an offer of £19.7 million for the midfielder—a sum his club has reportedly turned down:

Arsenal have failed in a €23million (£19.7million) bid for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender, according to reports in Germany.

The 24-year-old Germany international is contracted to the Bundesliga side until 2017, and having sold right-back Dani Carvajal to Real Madrid and Andre Schurrle to Chelsea this summer they are reluctant to lose any more first-teamers.

Bender is another high-profile transfer target Arsenal may or may not be able to obtain this summer. With several targets still on the agenda, it’s hard to believe the Gunners would be willing to make another offer eclipsing the £19.7-million mark.

Wenger may revisit this situation later in the transfer period after other needs have been addressed, but with Higuain and various other players still up in the air, it’s hard to believe Arsenal will make Bender a top priority. 


Fernando Torres

Again, the pieces have to start falling into place at some point. If Arsenal hope to make a big splash on the transfer market, they need to push for Higuain’s signing.

And with the news that Chelsea’s Fernando Torres may be readily available, Arsenal have even more reason to speed things up.

According to Dean Jones and Dave Kidd of the Daily Mirror, new Blues boss Jose Mourinho only considers five Chelsea players guaranteed starters next term, and Torres isn’t one of them:

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger wants to bring Fernando Torres to the Emirates.

And Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is ready to let the Spaniard leave.

The shock Gunners move comes as Blues insiders claim Mourinho considers only FIVE of the Chelsea squad are certain starters for the new season.

Jones and Kidd believe Arsenal will act fast if Torres is free to sign elsewhere, but that doesn’t come as much of a surprise. With Higuain potentially in their pocket, Torres would be a tremendous signing to put an exclamation point on a record-setting transfer period.

The situation seems to be in its formative stages, but there’s plenty of time for it to develop. Should Arsenal secure their top target in Higuain, Torres may be next on the list.


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