5 Players from Rival Clubs Arsenal Would Love to Sign

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2013

5 Players from Rival Clubs Arsenal Would Love to Sign

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    The Premier League is characterised by intense rivalries. It is a fundamentally tribal environment.

    Arsenal supporters are no different. They castigate opposition players as readily as they celebrate their own.

    However, deep down, there are several rival players that Arsenal supporters and management surely secretly covet.

    Go to the next slide to discover the sworn enemies that Arsenal wish were in their side. The deals may be made difficult by enmity, but hypothetically Arsenal would love to call these players their own.

Luis Suarez, Liverpool

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    Arsenal's interest in Luis Suarez is no great secret.

    The latest from the Mirror suggests the Gunners will have to break the British transfer record of £50 million to snare the Uruguayan striker.

    Arguably, Suarez is worth it. His fleet-footed style is perfect for Arsenal's system. Even his chequered disciplinary record has failed to dissuade Arsene Wenger from pursuing Liverpool's controversial forward.

Juan Mata, Chelsea

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    Arsenal have a longstanding interest in Juan Mata.

    The Gunners were linked with the Spanish midfielder by The Sun back in 2011 before he moved from Valencia to Chelsea. Now, according to The Daily Mail, Arsene Wenger has revived his interest.

    The prospect of seeing Mata line up alongside Santi Cazorla is mouthwatering. Their craft and invention would make for a hugely attractive combination.

    Prising Mata from Chelsea would prove difficult. However, if the Gunners could secure his signature, they'd surely have one of the most creative midfields in Europe. 

Marouane Fellaini, Everton

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    Marouane Fellaini is the antithesis of the current Arsenal midfield.

    Arsenal have an abundance of short, slight, technical midfielders. Fellaini is tall, powerful and dominant in the air. He would bring quality and, crucially, variety to the Arsenal XI.

    According to the Mirror, Arsenal are battling with Manchester United to decide Fellaini's destiny. If Arsene Wenger can convince Fellaini to turn his back on former mentor David Moyes, he will have a Premier League powerhouse on his hands.

Wayne Rooney, Manchester United

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    Could Arsene Wenger tame Wayne Rooney?

    There's no doubting Rooney's talent. However, his form and fitness leave plenty to be desired.

    While on the Gunners' Asian tour, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger told John Cross of the Mirror that Rooney was a "realistic target."

    Having lost Robin van Persie to Manchester United last summer, Wenger would surely love to return the favour by pinching a United striker to replace the Dutchman.

Gareth Bale, Tottenham

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    According to The Guardian, Gareth Bale is determined to force a move to Real Madrid.

    No other club in world football could entice Bale. Few could even afford him. However, any Arsenal fan who tells you they wouldn't want to see Bale at the Emirates is surely lying.

    Arsene Wenger is a confirmed fan. Speaking about his decision not to sign Bale as a teenager, Wenger told The Daily Mail:

    We didn't take him as we had Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy and didn't want another left-back.

    I must confess it was a huge mistake as he can play in midfield. He struggled at the start at Tottenham, then they moved him to midfield and he has done exceptionally well.

    The last player to move from Tottenham to Arsenal was Sol Campbell. He went on to become a Gunners legend. 

    Daniel Levy letting Bale move to the Emirates is improbable—almost unthinkable—but there's no doubt that Bale has the potential to surpass even Campbell's achievements in red and white.


    James McNicholas is Bleacher Report's lead Arsenal correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here.