Arsenal Transfer News: Big Deals Rumoured to Be on Arsene Wenger's Radar

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMay 4, 2014

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 26: Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United applauds the fans after the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Norwich City at Old Trafford on April 26, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Arsenal face an ambiguous summer of squad reinforcement, where it remains uncertain as to how busy they will be following a campaign in which key injuries ultimately proved their downfall.

Nevertheless, a club of their stature continue to be linked with some of Europe's brightest talents, and a select sample of potential Emirates Stadium stars currently rest in the headlines.

Read on for a breakdown of the latest news on those being linked with a move to North London.

Rio Ferdinand, Manchester United

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 05:  Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Real Sociedad de Futbol and Manchester United at Estadio Anoeta on November 5, 2013 in San Sebastian, Spain.  (Photo by David Ra
David Ramos/Getty Images

With his Manchester United contract up at the end of this season, it's unclear as to what role, if any, Rio Ferdinand will play at Old Trafford next season.

Arsenal have emerged as shock contenders to take the centre-back on a free transfer, with the Mirror's Simon Mullock writing that Wenger has become interested in giving the defender another crack among the Premier League's big guns.

Speaking to BT Sport (h/t's Harry Sherlock) this weekend, Ferdinand backed up his previous sentiments of wanting to remain at Old Trafford, but admits that the next permanent managerial appointment will likely dictate his future:

Obviously I'll be waiting, playing the games until the end of the season and see what happens. See if a new manager comes in or Giggsy gets the job, whoever, we'll have to wait and see. I feel fit, I feel healthy, I feel good. I'm enjoying my football so I'll definitely be playing on for another year, hopefully two or three more. But I'll take it year by year and hopefully another year.

The most important thing is the club and the club's position with who they go with and once that's sorted out then everything else can take place after. As I said I'm happy here, I love playing my football. Manchester United's been great for me, it's enabled my dreams to come true and a lot of the things in football for me. So I have to respect whatever decision the club do and I'll do what's best by the club.

Apparently seeing that there's still some value to be had in his talents, Wenger may be willing to take a chance on Ferdinand, who turns 36 in November.

However, provided the club are planning to keep hold of central defenders Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, it's difficult to imagine the veteran challenging for a starting spot.

Diego Costa, Atletico Madrid

Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

Aiming to beat rivals Chelsea to the punch, Arsenal have joined the hunt to sign Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa this summer, per Steve Stammers of the Mirror.

Speaking prior to this weekend's fixture against West Brom, Arsene Wenger is quoted by Stammers as commenting on how his side's reliance on Olivier Giroud this term may mean attacking reinforcements are required:

Maybe we have over-played him at some stage. There is perhaps room for an attacking player who can play in a different position to Giroud. Someone who can play with him as well. But I do not know yet who will be on the market.

Costa hasn't always played alongside a direct striking partner this season, centred more in Diego Simeone's line-up as the focus of a three-pronged assault, but his talents may lend themselves well to a player of Giroud's talents.

ESPN's Miguel Delaney quotes Jose Mourinho as hinting at what Chelsea's transfer priorities are this summer:

Stammers also reports on the £31 million release clause, which would need triggering if Costa were to leave the Spanish capital, but the sum may not be an issue if Arsenal are as passionate about signing Costa as they were of triggering Luis Suarez's £40 million clause last summer.

Carlos Vela, Real Sociedad

GETAFE, SPAIN - JANUARY 19:  Carlos Vela (R) of Real Sociedad competes for the ball with Borja Fernandez Fernandez (L) of Getafe CF during the La Liga match between Getafe SAD and Real Sociedad de Futbol at Coliseum Alfonso Perez on January 19, 2014 in Ge
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Something of a cut-price alternative to the big-money names being linked with the North Londoners, Carlos Vela could be brought back to Arsenal this summer for just £3.3 million.

That's according to the Daily Mail's Matt Morlidge, who quotes the player as speaking highly of his chances of returning to England during an interview with Radio Marca:

One possibility is my clause of €30million (£24.6m), but there are other options and we’re looking at that, to see what we can and can’t do. 

Arsenal can come back for me at €4million (£3.3m) at any time, which is €1million more than Real Sociedad paid. I look at things differently these days and I won’t close the door on Arsenal, or any team in England. I think I’m better prepared to play in another country now.

OptaJose points out just how critical the forward has been to Real Sociedad's season:

Vela's 2011 departure from Arsenal came as a result of his failure to secure prominence in the Gunners' pecking order, but the striker has acquired a wealth of experience at the top level since then.

Wenger's need for attacking reinforcements and the low-cost fee of Vela's signature could make the Mexican international an ideal recruit.


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