Arsenal Transfer News: Fears over Mesut Ozil as Arsene Wenger Targets Top Stars

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2014

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - MARCH 01: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal warms up as a substitute  during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at Britannia Stadium on March 1, 2014 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil is reportedly set to be the target of a bid from Barcelona over the summer, but former Gunner Ray Parlour is adamant Arsene Wenger must keep hold of the German despite some indifferent form this season. 

Reports on talkSPORT indicate the former Real Madrid man, who arrived at the Emirates for a club-record £42.5 million transfer fee from Spain in 2013, could be the subject of a £30 million bid from the Catalan giants.

But even though the 25-year-old has shown dips in form this term, Parlour thinks Arsenal need to keep all their current players as well as bring in several new stars if they want to win the Premier League. 

He told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show via Nick Rostron-Pike of talkSPORT

Arsenal fans haven’t seen the best of Ozil. Everyone got a big lift when he came to the club. The Arsenal fans would be a little bit surprised if he left straight away.

Wenger needs to keep every single player he’s got in that squad and really strengthen in the summer.

Arsenal need to buy two forwards and a holding midfielder if they’re going to have any chance of winning the Premier League title next season.

The German international has only scored four goals from 23 league appearances this season, per Squawka, but to get rid of a marquee signing after just one season would be a strange move on Wenger's part.

HULL, ENGLAND - APRIL 20:  Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Arsenal at KC Stadium on April 20, 2014 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Rather than shipping players out, it seems the French manager will in fact be looking to bring in some top new players after he confirms he will continue his reign at the club.

Speculation had been rife that Wenger, who has been manager of Arsenal since 1996, could be on his way out of the club this summer, as reported by The Telegraph:

However, recent reports suggest he will sign a new contract and will look to bring in reinforcements to a side that has dropped from league leaders to struggling for Champions League qualification in a matter of months.

John Cross reports in the Daily Mirror:

Arsene Wenger will sign a new Arsenal contract, and is proving it by planning a huge spending spree in the summer transfer window.

Wenger has left Arsenal in no doubt that he is staying because he is lining up big transfer targets as he looks to strengthen his squad for a title challenge next season. [...]

[He] has already been told he has got £70m-plus to spend this summer and is determined to spend big.

Top priorities for Wenger will be a new striker to give support to Olivier Giroud, whose 14-goal tally in the Premier League this season makes him the only Arsenal player to reach double figures, per BBC Sport.

Furthermore, a new star in the midfield is a possibility and more than likely Wenger will need to find a replacement for right-back Bacary Sagna, who may be on his way out this summer. 

As reported by Sami Mokbel in the Daily Mail, the French defender is out of contract at season's end and has refused to sign a new contract, with Southampton's Calum Chambers supposedly being targeted as a replacement:

Chambers, who is still only 19, has made 21 Premier League appearances for Mauricio Pochettino's side this season after graduating through the club's academy.

He has impressed the Gunners' domestic scouting team on a number of occasions and is seen as a long-term successor to current first choice right-back Sagna.

Wenger has always been interested in bringing in young players that he can work with in their development, so Chambers would seem a likely option.

However, Cross' report suggests Wenger may have to pay £10 million to bring him to the Emirates.

Matthias Schrader

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic has been linked with Arsenal for some time now, per Simon Jones in the Daily Mail, and he would certainly add firepower to the Gunners' attack.

He has scored 18 goals in 29 Bundesliga appearances this season, per Squawka, but with Robert Lewandowski arriving in Bavaria this summer he may look elsewhere for more regular football.

The Daily Mail's John Edwards reports Mandzukic's value to be around £20 million, a relatively reasonable amount for a player guaranteed to provide Wenger with an added goal threat. 

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - OCTOBER 27:  Antoine Griezmann of Real Sociedad de Futbol celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the La Liga match between Real Sociedad de Futbol and UD Almeria at Estadio Anoeta on October 27, 2013 in San Sebastian
David Ramos/Getty Images

In midfield, Real Sociedad's Antoine Griezmann has been linked with the Gunners, with Wenger admitting his interest as reported by Daniel Jones in the Metro.

"Yes, we follow him in great detail," said Wenger. "He attracts other clubs as well. But we follow him, he is a known commodity."

The winger would bring great pace and skill to the club as well as goals: He has 16 goals in 31 La Liga appearances this season, per

Meanwhile, Griezmann is highly tipped to make it into the French squad for the World Cup in Brazil this summer, having made his debut for the national team last month, as reported by talkSPORT's Lee Roden:

Wenger would do well to make a deal for the 23-year-old before then, with Sociedad reportedly open to offers of £20 million, per Steve Stammers in the Daily Mirror. 

Arsenal would be in a lot better shape next season if they could bring in the players mentioned above, but it does look as though they will have to spend big in order to do so.

However, as shown by their strong early form in this season's Premier League, they are not far off a championship-winning side if they add a little more quality.

Wenger has the experience and it should be seen as a major bonus that he looks to be staying at the club, but he must now spend well to make his presence count.


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