Arsenal fans have reason to remain anxious as we head toward the summer transfer window.
Bacary Sagna's future looks to be slipping away from the Emirates, while deals to bring Alvaro Morata and Josip Drmic are heavily rumoured, yet unconfirmed. Here, we detail the latest news on each of the aforementioned trio.
Latest on Arsenal's Potential Summer Transfer Activity
Starting with the man who could leave Arsenal, it seems Sagna's recent contract struggle may end in disappointment for Wenger. Simon Jones of the Daily Mail believes the Frenchman will enter talks with Manchester City after the FA Cup final, with him likely to turn down the Gunners' three-year, £80,000-per-week offer:
Bacary Sagna will enter talks with Manchester City after the FA Cup final later this month. The Arsenal right back is in the midst of a contract wrangle with his club and looks almost certain to leave this summer when his deal expires.
Sagna would join an elite club of disloyal Gunners if he jumps ship. Many Arsenal fans still voice their disapproval when playing City, who signed Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri from the club in recent years. Wenger also offloaded Ashley Cole and Robin van Persie to rivals Chelsea and Manchester United respectively, indicating the loss of Sagna could cause something of a backlash.
Carl Jenkinson hasn't managed to consistently impress as Sagna's deputy, ensuring Wenger will be forced into spending unnecessary funds on a replacement for one of the team's most important players.
Alvaro Morata, Real Madrid
Will he, won't he? This question surrounds many of Wenger's movements in the transfer market, where it's difficult to track his intentions. The Morata link has continued to show itself since January—a month that saw Wenger add nobody to his squad—so was always likely to reappear as we move toward the summer, per John Cross of the Mirror.
Despite Morata making just three starts across Real Madrid's La Liga campaign and run to the Champions League final, per WhoScored.com, Los Blancos want him to stay. Alberto Pinero of Goal.com suggests the club will open contract talks with their talented 21-year-old, an occurrence that seems likely after Carlo Ancelotti complimented his forward's output:
"Morata has been doing a great job this season," said Ancelotti. "I hope he will stay at Madrid. We need him. He has the potential to be close to Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo."
Ancelotti also admitted he wants Morata to stay after the recent fixture against Osasuna, per Real Madrid's Twitter feed:
Perhaps typically, Wenger is hiding any interest, noted by James McNicholas, freelance writer for the Mirror, Squawka, Bleacher Report and ESPN:
AW asked about Morata: "We are in for nobody at the moment." Would he interest you? "Not especially."— gunnerblog (@gunnerblog) May 2, 2014
It seems Morata will need to specifically confirm he wishes to leave if a move is to go ahead. He can put an end to speculation by inking a new contract, allowing Wenger to cross one target off the list.
Josip Drmic, Nuremberg
Lothar Matthaus is adamant Josip Drmic will sign for Arsenal. The former Germany captain has reiterated his stance during an interview with Swiss newspaper Blick, reported via the Metro:
Although now Dortmund, Gladbach and Leverkusen all have an interest. I’m saying: Josip Drmic will switch to Arsenal.
[...] Look, if a journalist hears something, he researched and wrote that then its true. I’m kind of a journalist and have heard the rumour of a move to Arsenal. I then found out that this is true.
Which forward do Arsenal need most?
Drmic could be available for as little as £4.5 million according to the Metro, something of a steal considering the excellent season he has posted. Despite Nuremberg currently residing one place off the Bundesliga's bottom spot, Drmic has racked up 16 goals in 31 appearances, 44 percent of the 36 the relegation fodder have netted in total, per WhoScored.com.
The 21-year-old possesses decent pace, is agile and has extreme confidence in his finishing ability. While he lacks an aerial presence and could do with bulking up, he is a natural goalscorer, someone who only needs one chance to make a difference. Wenger could work wonders on the improving starlet if given the opportunity, making him a smart and cost-effective investment.
Arsenal's summer is likely to be defined by a mixture of deals. Many will hope Wenger deploys a Mesut Ozil-styled bid in the region of £40 million for a proven star, something that is entirely possible. Even so, Wenger remains ever so cautious when attacking the market and is more likely to land a handful of players at middling prices to improve his squad.
The Gunners' Premier League rivals are sure to continue improving. Liverpool's resurgence into the title picture, combined with the constant threat of Manchester City and Chelsea, ensures improvements need to be made. Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham can also be expected to progress, meaning Wenger can't afford to take half measures during a vital summer in his Arsenal reign.