Arsenal Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of July 22
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 who is rumored to be entering or departing the Emirates Stadium.
Luis Suarez Reportedly Wants to Join Arsenal
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Let's analyze one of the rumors that has simultaneously been generating the most excitement and derision this summer.
Cross goes on to claim that the Gunners had a deal for Gonzalo Higuain in place, but Real Madrid suddenly jacked up the price amid interest from Napoli. Arsenal then turned their attention to Suarez, and the Uruguayan is willing to move to North London.
It would be odd for Suarez, who has publicly voiced his displeasure with England in the recent past (via The BBC), to choose a club in its media's very heart, but footballers do not always make perfectly logical decisions.
Could Arsenal Be in for Juan Mata?
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In one of the more outlandish rumors to come through the mill recently, David Kent of the Daily Mail is reporting that Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea and the Blues' pursuit of high-profile targets like Wayne Rooney could push Juan Mata across town to Arsenal.
There is at least some evidence of the Gunners having interest at one point.
Mata admitted that Arsenal was one of the clubs interested in him when he moved to Stamford Bridge in 2011, and it makes sense: He is the sort of highly technical, versatile attacking midfielder that Arsene Wenger prizes.
It seems unlikely, though, that Chelsea would be so hasty to cut loose their most valuable attacking asset soon after his 25th birthday.
Gonzalo Higuain Reportedly Stalls Imminent Move to Napoli
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Let's finish with the preeminent transfer saga that has been haunting Arsenal fans since almost immediately after the conclusion of last season.
Gonzalo Higuain was apparently all set to finally decide his future and book a flight to Italy to sign with nouveau-riche Napoli. But as the transfer neared finalization, according to John Cross of The Mirror, he apparently asked for 48 hours to mull over the move, with interest from Arsenal still evident.
Interestingly, Cross reports that Napoli's winning bid amounted to £30 million—an odd sum, considering that the Gunners offered Liverpool the same amount for Luis Suarez, according to The Telegraph, and they had previously tabled a £22 million offer for Higuain (also via The Telegraph).
If Arsenal are willing to shell out this sort of cash for a top striker, why not simply match the same offer that had been made for another comparable talent while increasing the previous bid by a relatively modest amount?
The entire story continues to baffle.