Arsenal Transfer News: Latest on Goncalo Guedes, Laurent Koscielny and More

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2014

NYON, SWITZERLAND - APRIL 14: Goncalo Guedes of SL Benfica (L) fights for the ball with Elohor Godswill of FC Barcelona during the UEFA Youth League Final match between Benfica Lisbon and FC Barcelona at Colovray Stadion on April 14, 2014 in Nyon, Switzerland. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

After what has been a disappointing end to Arsenal's domestic league campaign as they fight for the final Champions League qualifying position, manager Arsene Wenger will be considering what to do to strengthen his current squad.

The Gunners have been short in numbers this year following injuries to key players, and Wenger will be aware that he does not have the strength in depth to compete with big spenders Chelsea and Manchester City.

Here is the latest transfer news on the possible comings and goings at the Emirates in the summer transfer window.


Goncalo Guedes

BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - MARCH 25:  Goncalo Guedes of Portugal in action during the UEFA European Under-17 Championship Elite Round match between Slovenia and Portugal at St George's Park on March 25, 2013 in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  (Photo by Mat
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Arsenal are keeping an eye on Benfica teenage prodigy Goncalo Guedes. The 17-year-old has been watched by Gunners scout Gilles Grimandi, as reported by John Cross of the Mirror.

Cross writes that Guedes has impressed greatly in the UEFA Youth League for his club and could be on the market for as little as £6 million in the coming months. 

But Benfica are trying to tie down the youngster to a long-term deal and insert a buyout clause to scare off suitors who are interested in his talents and services. 

Winger Guedes has played eight times in the European youth league this year, scoring on four occasions, per Transfermarkt.

The player also can feature in the striker position, an area in which Wenger's team are currently lacking. 

Guedes is one of the hottest talents in Portuguese football and could be considered a bargain at the price quoted. However, it is questionable whether youth is exactly what Arsenal need as they try to compete with the biggest clubs in England and Europe.

Guedes could be a solid acquisition for the future, but he would struggle to get game time at the Emirates as things stand. However, if his form continues to shine as brightly as it has recently, his value could rocket and the Gunners could miss out on him while he is still affordable. 


Laurent Koscielny

Bogdan Maran

The future of Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny is up in the air. He continues to attract interest from clubs after a good season for the Gunners.

Tom Bellwood of the Mail Online reports that Koscielny has opened contract talks with the club. Bellwood claims the Gunners are prepared to bring Koscielny's wages in line with other top earners at the club and pay him £90,000 a week. 

Matt Law of The Telegraph also recently reported that the player was being tracked by Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco and Bayern Munich. The North London team are struggling to convince the player to commit his future to the club.

Law commented:

His form has alerted PSG, Monaco and Bayern Munich, with all clubs aware Koscielny is on relatively modest wages of around £50,000 a week at the Emirates Stadium. That is less than defensive partner Per Mertesacker, who signed a £90,000-a-week deal last month, and Thomas Vermaelen, who earns £70,000 a week.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22:  A dejected Mikel Arteta and Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal after conceding a fourth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on March 22, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Sh
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Law quotes a statement Koscielny made last year in which the player made his desire to win trophies—with or without Arsenalperfectly clear.

The French international said:

I want to lift trophies and to have a winning record. I hope the club will give me the means. If this weren’t the case, I’d look elsewhere. I want to win titles and I hope the club have the means.

I feel good at Arsenal and if the club can compete with the best, I have no reason to leave. But if it fights every year for Champions League qualification it’s hard psychologically to be under such constant pressure.

Koscielny has become a vital part of Wenger's side, and it is important for the club to retain his partnership with German defender Per Mertesacker.

Both have been excellent for Arsenal for the past couple of seasons, and they are the rocks Wenger can build upon as he finally looks to land the elusive Premier League crown he has missed out on for nearly a decade. 

It is clear why the French international is now attracting interest from some of the biggest clubs abroad, and his words last year show he will move if he thinks the North London side are not competing to their full capacity.

It is vital now for Wenger to strengthen his defence and give Koscielny and Mertesacker the support they need to help the Gunners sustain a challenge through a whole campaign domestically and in Europe.