Arsenal have wrapped up qualification for next season's UEFA Champions League play-offs, and with the little exception of the FA Cup final against Hull City on the horizon, the club's main focus will now turn to the upcoming summer transfer window.
The Gunners arguably need reinforcements in defence, midfield and attack, and they are already being linked with numerous star players and top talents, so let's have a look at the latest transfer news surrounding the club.
Marca's Sergi Font reports Bayern Munich's Pep Guardiola has made it very clear to anyone listening he has no intention of letting midfielder Javi Martinez leave the club this summer.
When asked about the player's future with the club, Guardiola simply stated:
"Javi Martinez is staying at Bayern and will play well for us."
The Spanish international was one of the team's top performers during their magical 2012-2013 season, but he has been far less vital to the squad following the hiring of Guardiola and the implementation of his tiki-taka system.
As a result, clubs all over Europe seem to be interested in the availability of the midfielder, who presents a very versatile skill set. Making just 17 starts all season, Martinez still averages 2.1 tackles and a 90.6 percent pass completion, per WhoScored.com, which are outstanding numbers for any player.
Martinez has been forced to play in defence frequently this season, and as shared by Clark Whitney, the player seemed less than enthusiastic with his current situation in an interview with Bild:
Bild quotes Javi Martinez as saying situation is "Not as I'd imagined it" under Pep. He's considering leaving Bayern w/ MCFC, AFC interested— Clark Whitney (@Mr_Bundesliga) May 6, 2014
Martinez faces strong competition from Sergio Busquets for the position of holding midfielder in Spain's squad, and a lack of playing time during next month's World Cup could make the player's desire for a move even more vocal.
Guardiola might be warning off potential suitors, but if Martinez is unhappy at his situation and wants out, it will be hard for Bayern to decline any substantial offer.
According to Le10sport.com, via Metro, Koscielny has agreed to a new contract that will tie him to the club until 2019.
At the time of writing there has been no official confirmation from either club or player, but with the Mirror's John Cross suggesting Arsene Wenger was "confident of tying Laurent Koscielny down to a new five-year contract," reports a deal has been agreed is no great surprise.
Koscielny had reportedly been high on the summer wishlist of several top teams around Europe, including Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, according to AS, via Transfer News Live:
Real Madrid are interested in Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny but Arsène Wenger is unlikely to let the defender go. (Source: AS)— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) May 5, 2014
Paired with Per Mertesacker, the French international has brought stability to a Gunners defence lacking just that in recent years, and confirmation he plans on staying with the club is sorely needed.
While Arsenal could still use an upgrade over Mertesacker in the near future (providing such a player becomes available), Koscielny figures to be at the heart of the team's defence for the next half-decade, so signing him at this point in time is vital.
The 23-year-old right-back has confirmed he is happy to stay at Burnley amidst talk of a new and improved contract, but he didn't shut the door on a potential move to a top team.
Per The Daily Mail's Simon Jones, the former Manchester City defender said:
"I'm happy at Burnley, I'm 10 minutes away, close to my family and friends, so we'll see what happens."
Burnley earned promotion to the Premier League with a second-place finish in the Football League Championship and will be counting on their highly rated youngster to contribute to the team in England's top division.
With the future of current right-back Bacary Sagna still very much up in the air, the Gunners could soon be in dire need of a replacement. Per Soccernomics' Ben Lyttleton, L'Equipe has learned the Frenchman already has one foot out the door:
L'Equipe: Sagna to turn down Inter & Galatasaray, will stay in Eng & decide btwn MCFC & Chelsea. Not happy with AFC contract offer— Ben Lyttleton (@benlyt) May 6, 2014
Carl Jenkinson could be the team's new right-back by default should Sagna leave and, at the very least, the Gunners will be looking at bringing in some competition for the English youngster.
According to Trippier, however, they shouldn't necessarily be looking his way. While it's important to note the player never stated he wouldn't be moving, a strong first season in the Premier League would greatly boost his transfer stock.
And with the added funds of the top league now available to Burnley, it would appear the Clarets will do whatever it takes to make sure the youngster will still be at the club next season.