Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Latest on Ashley Williams, Gonzalo Higuain and More

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Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Latest on Ashley Williams, Gonzalo Higuain and More
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It's mid-July, and Arsenal have yet to make the big splash that manager Arsene Wenger promised before the 2013 summer transfer window opened. 

Frustration at Emirates Stadium is at an all-time high, as the Gunners have managed to add a few quality names (like Yaya Sanogo), but nothing that will have fans officially excited about the prospects of moving to the top of the English Premier League table at the end of the 2013-14 season. 

Can Wenger and the Gunners make a marquee move before it's too late?

As this tweet from Goal UK would suggest, there are those amongst the Arsenal faithful who are growing weary of the "wait-and-see" approach with respect to signing players:

Noted Gunner fan Piers Morgan is in that group:

As the old saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. 

We'll take a look at the latest batch of Arsenal transfer rumours below, and see if the Gunners are indeed inching toward inking a world-class talent before the transfer window closes. 

 

Ashley Williams

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According to a report from Pete O'Rourke of Sky Sports, the Gunners are poised to increase their efforts to nab Swansea City defender Ashley Williams.

Although Williams' price has remained high enough to keep him out of any substantial transfer talk, the injury to Thomas Vermaelen's back has fueled speculation that Wenger might have to come closer to Swansea's demands to bolster his defense for the start of the season. 

The 28-year-old centre-back has been a standout in the EPL for the last two seasons, earning recognition across England for his ability to keep top league players at bay. Williams has 11 goals for Swansea since moving over from Stockport County but did not score during the 2012-13 season. 

O'Rourke lists Williams as Arsenal's "top target," something that might incite a riot outside Emirates Stadium if Wenger can't nab the next player (or a similar talent) on our list of transfer rumors.  

 

Gonzalo Higuain

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

The Gunners have been banking on Higuain coming to Emirates Stadium at some point this year, but according to John Drayton of Daily Mail, that move could be on hold for now. 

Then again, it could be on hold for good.

According to Drayton's article, reports in Spain are claiming that the Real Madrid striker will be content to stay in Spain if Arsenal can't work out a proper fee for his services. 

It was reported that Arsenal and Madrid had worked a £23 million fee, but club president Florentino Perez told Spanish paper Marca that no such fee had been worked out with the Gunners. 

"We don’t want him to go," Perez told Marca, per Drayton's report. "Furthermore, no one from Arsenal has been here to make any type of offer."

After what seems like months of speculation that Wenger was going to nab the striker who felt undervalued by Jose Mourinho at the Bernabeu, it appears that new management under Carlo Ancelotti would be more than happy to keep him in Spain as Madrid prepares to chase Barcelona. 

 

Other Rumours

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Can Arsenal nab Luis Suarez, Wayne Rooney or both?

If Higuain is off the table, Wenger is keeping his poker face on with respect to his chase of other available players. 

According to John Cross of Mirror, Wenger spoke out about potential targets during Arsenal's current trip to Indonesia for their Asian preseason tour. In his comments, he mentions Higuain, Wayne Rooney and Luis Suarez as "realistic targets," but noted that not all were available to join the Gunners next season. 

His comments in Cross' report do nothing to assuage fans who feel that a letdown is coming when Arsenal returns to the pitch this fall:

We have better financial resources than the years beforeresources we have created ourselves. That is massively important to us. We will see what we can do until the end of the transfer period, and certainly before the new season starts. That's what we are working on at the moment.

The fans, the players and everybody is reassured by big names, always, but what is important is that we don't need numbers, we need quality. We want to bring in players and strengthen the squad. I expect that to happen. We are working very hard on it and I'm confident we will be able to do it.

Wenger also spoke out about his contract in Cross' Mirror piece, and Goal.com also reported on Twitter on Saturday that the manager and his bosses have had positive talks about a potential contract extension:

Returning to the subject of marquee players, Suarez is a name that has been floating around in transfer rumours for most of the window.

Chris Bascombe of The Telegraph reported on Friday that the Gunners would up their £30 million rejected bid for the striker, noting a growing discontent with the Higuain situation. 

Suarez hasn't ruled out a transfer to a rival EPL club but it would take quite the fee to see Liverpool let him torment them twice a year by selling him to Arsenal. 

Sky Sports had some buzz about Suarez on Friday, noting that manager Brendan Rodgers has been in communication with the star throughout the summer and remains hopeful that fences can be mended enough to keep Suarez at Anfield. 

Other player rumors of note include Geoffrey Kondogbia, who the Gunners originally had interest in but backed away from during the course of the transfer process. According to Daily Mail's Simon Jones on Friday, the Gunners are reviving interest in the 20-year-old Frenchman.

Jones also mentions Newcastle keeper Tim Krul as an Arsenal target in that report. 

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

If things don't work out with Higuain, it appears Arsenal have a back-up plan to pilfer talent away from another La Liga club. Metro's Jamie Sanderson reported on Friday that Barcelona starlet Antonio Sanabria is a new target that the Gunners are expected to pursue. 

The 17-year-old caught the eyes of many for Paraguay at the Under-20 World Cup, and is reportedly also a target of Real Madrid. 

In exit news, it appears Nicklas Bendtner is on the move yet again. Michael Morgan of The Sun reported on Friday that Hull City is now in the market for the 25-year-old Danish striker and would give him a chance to play first-team football. 

Bendtner, who was on loan at Juventus last season, initially looked set for a move to Eintracht Frankfurt earlier this summer. But that deal fell through, and Hull City has emerged as a candidate to add the striker to their newly promoted lineup soon. 

 

Follow B/R's Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter. 

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