If Arsene Wenger wants to shore up his back line, Adil Rami would be a good start this summer.
It seemed the transfer fee started to get out of hand, scaring Arsenal off. To a certain extent, who can blame them? When you include his wages and any other extraneous fees, a transfer price of £34.5 million is an awful lot for Higuain.
Would Adil Rami be a nice addition for Arsenal?
One player who is available for a very reasonable sum is Adil Rami. Marca (h/t Daily Express) reported Valencia will put a price tag of between €9 million and €10 million on the 27-year-old centre-back. Los Che are almost always forced to sell their best players.
Jordi Alba, David Silva, David Villa and Juan Mata have all been sold in the past few years to help ease the club's debt. Given their financial peril, Valencia are not in a position where they could hold out for Rami's €12 million buyout clause.
If a good offer is made to the club, Valencia will be all too happy to see Rami off. Their loss could be the Gunners' gain.
It's not that Arsenal need a world-class centre-back at the moment. Sure it would be great to add Thiago Silva, but it's unnecessary to spend a ton of money to upgrade the back four that much. The Gunners defence has made some nice strides under Steve Bould. The 37 goals the club conceded last season were second fewest in the Premier League.
The problem with Arsenal is that they don't have anywhere near enough depth at centre-back.
They've got Per Mertesacker, Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny as the only senior-level players who are natural fits in the centre of the back four. Carl Jenkinson can move inside, but you'd much rather have someone you could rely on more. If one of Mertesacker, Vermaelen or Koscielny miss time, then Arsenal would be screwed.
Even at €10 million, Rami would be a bargain. He is one of the best central defenders in La Liga and is in the prime of his career. He still has three or four very good seasons left before he starts hitting a decline.
What's better for Arsenal is that Rami would fit their style very well. He is very skilled on the ball for a defender. He could start the attack from the back or get the ball out of danger without simply lumping it up the pitch.
According to Who Scored, Rami's passing percentage was 82.5 percent. While that's lower than Arsenal's centre-back trio, it should be taken into account how the style of Valencia is not exactly conducive to a high passing percentage. Whereas Rami would have been the 20th-best passer on Arsenal, he was the ninth-best passer on Valencia.
Rami is also a very intelligent defender who knows where to be on the pitch. He made an average of 1.7 interceptions a game. Along with that intelligence, Rami is not one to dive into rash tackles. He only committed 1.1 fouls a game.
It's become harder and harder to buy players without having to pay way over the odds for him. With Rami, Arsenal could be getting a talented player for what would probably be his market value, or possibly even below market value.
The transfer fee wouldn't be getting in the way this time, just Arsene Wenger's frugality.