Any Internet-browsing Arsenal fan will be bombarded with transfer rumors during every online sojourn this summer. Most will be false, and many of those will neglect the team's actual needs.
So where do the Gunners actually have to improve this summer?
While Arsenal are not quite as bad as some of the more pessimistic pundits would have you believe, their fourth-place finish—and struggle to get there—indicates that there is ample room for additions to the squad.
Let's look at four of the biggest areas that Arsene Wenger needs to look at.
---LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, JULY 3---
---UPDATE: WEDNESDAY, JULY 3---
According to Clement Grenier (from ESPN FC via Le Parisien), Arsenal have had a bid rejected by Lyon.
However, Jean-Michel Aulas, Lyon's president, has strongly voiced his determination to hold on to Grenier, who is one of the club's best and most valuable players. With only a year remaining on his contract, Lyon will have little leverage in transfer negotiations with Arsenal.
Whether those negotiations will take place is an open question. Grenier says he has made a decision about where he wants to play next season, but will ultimately acquiesce to whatever his club's brass decides.
Definitely a story to follow.
---END OF UPDATE---
The Gunners could certainly use a more assertive presence in defensive midfield after playing an entire season with the somewhat small and more creative-minded Mikel Arteta as their holding midfielder. Bender, who has both brawn and technical ability, would seem to fit the bill.
If this and the diverse reports linking Arsenal with Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain are true, Arsene Wenger is prepared to break his transfer record on two players during the same transfer window. Quite a departure from the tired "austere" stereotype that has been perpetuated for years.
You know that publications are becoming desperate for page views during a slow news cycle when Arsenal are linked with Fernando Torres.
Despite the fact that the Gunners already have Olivier Giroud on the payroll and just announced the signing of French striker Yaya Sanogo, The Mirror is claiming that Arsenal are considering Torres as a potential striking partner for the as-yet-unsigned Gonzalo Higuain.
I'll write an open apology letter if this move actually materializes.
Usually, players should step aside and let their club's brass handle transfer business at their desired pace and with their preferred level of privacy.
While Arsenal would probably prefer that Jack Wilshere remained silent about his preferences about what the club should do in the transfer market this summer, there is nothing particularly extraordinary, sensational, or insightful about his thoughts regarding Wayne Rooney.
Via Sky Sports:
He is the type of player who can win you trophies - and just to see his name on the team sheet brings fear to the opposition. We could do with a little more of that.
I think we need a few more, not to step right into the team, but to add to the squad.
Rooney would obviously make Arsenal's attack more threatening, but the chance of him actually suiting up for the Gunners next season is infinitesimal at best.