Arsenal Transfer News: Latest on Diego, Bacary Sagna, Morgan Schneiderlin, More

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2014

Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger, center right, and Bacary Sagna, center left, wave to the supporters as the team parade around the stadium in their last home match of the season, after their English Premier League soccer match against West Bromwich Albion at Emirates Stadium in London, Sunday, May 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Sang Tan/Associated Press

Arsenal still have the small matter of the FA Cup final against Hull City on their schedule, but fans will already be looking forward to the upcoming summer transfer window as the Gunners look to build on an excellent first half of the 2013-14 season in an attempt to do better in the Premier League in 2014-15.

The arrival of Mesut Ozil had a big impact on the club, not in the least because it showed fans Arsenal were no longer unable to pull the trigger on bringing in a star player.

In comparison, the January transfer window was far less exciting and laid the foundation for the disappointing end to the season, and if Arsene Wenger and company have learned their lesson, we'll be in for another exciting few months this summer.

Here's the latest transfer news surrounding the Gunners as we near the end of the 2013-14 season.



MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 19: Diego Ribas of Atletico Madrid duels for the ball with Ricardo Costa of Valencia during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final first leg match between Atletico Madrid and Valencia at Vicente Calderon stadium on April 19, 2012 in Madri
Angel Martinez/Getty Images

The Daily Star's Jack Wilson has learned Spanish sources claim Wenger is very interested in bringing in the experienced Brazilian, whose contract with Atletico Madrid is set to run out this summer.

Diego moved to the Spanish capital in January and had a limited impact on the club, most notably scoring a stunning goal in Atletico's Champions League victory over Barcelona.

The player was thought to be happy with life in Madrid despite making a limited impact, but Turkish sources are reporting the Brazilian is on the verge of joining Besiktas. NTV Spor believes a deal is already in place, as shared by this blogger:

Diego is a free agent and as such would not command a large transfer fee, making this a low-risk move for Arsenal. The midfielder has plenty of experience and could be a quality option as the Gunners look for depth in the centre of the pitch.

He was also a colossal flop at Juventus and deemed surplus at Wolfsburg in January at a time the club was struggling. With Besiktas reportedly offering €11 million (roughly £9 million), the player would be commanding quite a hefty wage for a bench option at best.

Wenger likes his bargain deals, but this is one the French manager should avoid.


Bacary Sagna

Wenger has all but conceded the fact the French international will be departing the club on a free transfer this summer, as reported by Daily Mirror's John Cross. The Arsenal boss confirmed a deal for Laurent Koscielny was close but couldn't say the same about Sagna:

It's (Koscielny) close to be closed. That (Sagna) is not close to be closed.

I will have to accept it because only he can decide that now. If he goes we will accept it, we will accept it and respond.

While Wenger expressed hope a deal could still be made, he didn't sound particularly confident. The Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson agrees:

According to L'Equipe, via Ben Lyttleton, it gets even worse for Arsenal and their fans:

This wouldn't be the first time Arsenal lost a wing-back to a Premier League rival (as this fan reminded us all of), and it's starting to look more and more like Sagna will be defending the colours of another title contender next season.

Playing on the right side of the defence, Sagna has been one of the club's most consistent performers in the last 12 months, and with few capable replacements seemingly available on the transfer market, the Gunners will have to overpay to find someone able to immediately match the Frenchman's production.


Morgan Schneiderlin

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 15:  Daniel Sanchez Ayala of Norwich City tackles Morgan Schneiderlin of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Norwich City at St Mary's Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Southampton, England.
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

The Daily Mail's Tom Bellwood claims Arsenal will be sending scouts to Southampton's final match of the 2013-14 season as the Gunners prepare a £15 million transfer deal for Schneiderlin.

According to Bellwood, the club has been following the French midfielder in detail in recent weeks, and scouts will now draw up a final assessment ahead of a summer move:

Sportsmail understands that the Gunners have been closely monitoring the central midfielder in recent weeks with a view to a summer swoop.

Arsenal will assess Schneiderlin on Sunday against Manchester United at St Mary’s Stadium before drawing up a final scouting report on the Frenchman.

The Londoners rate Schneiderlin highly and have placed him on their target list as they prepare to buy a dynamic midfield anchorman this summer.

Schneiderlin has impressed playing as a central midfielder with Southampton this season, combining solid passing skills with a defensive intensity almost unmatched on the English pitches.

Per, Schneiderlin has averaged a pass completion rate of over 89 percent, along with 3.5 tackles and 2.1 interceptions per match.

Arsenal could use an upgrade in front of the defensive unit. Mathieu Flamini has been unable to impress enough to earn a starting berth while Mikel Arteta's biggest contribution this season has arguably been this video:

All kidding aside, the Spanish midfielder is on the wrong side of 30 and is no longer able to play consistent minutes at the level Arsenal require. Schneiderlin may be a bit of a wild card as the move from Southampton to Arsenal will always be a difficult one, but his kind of work rate is something Arsenal could definitely use.


Javi Martinez

The Spanish midfielder told Bild his situation at Bayern Munich is "different from what he had imagined," as he is reportedly considering a move away from the club, via Bundesliga expert Clark Whitney:

The Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson followed up that story with news of the club reportedly enquiring about the player's availability:

Arsenal have made an enquiry to Bayern Munich for Javi Martinez, with Arsene Wenger having made a new central midfielder one of his two key transfer priorities this summer. ...

Martinez, who was part of the Spain squad that won both the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship, only joined Bayern two years ago in what was a club record £32 million deal. He still has a further three years remaining on his contract at Bayern but sources in Germany have suggested that the 25-year-old is unhappy with his role under Guardiola. 

While it is still far too early to start preparing the welcome banner, Martinez's comments stand in sharp contrast with those of his coach, Pep Guardiola, via Barcastuff:

No decisions will be made ahead of next month's World Cup, and it seems very likely Martinez and Guardiola will have some kind of sit-down in an attempt to come to a compromise that will suit both parties.

But should the player remain unhappy with the Bavarians, the situation is one Arsenal should certainly follow up on. As good as Schneiderlin might be as a holding midfielder, he is no match for the Spanish international.

There's a reason Bayern broke the club transfer record to bring him to Germany. Barring perhaps compatriot Sergio Busquets, Martinez is viewed as the best defensive midfielder on the planet, and his play backs up his reputation.

Via WhoScored, the player holds a pass completion percentage of over 90 percent, which is phenomenal for a holding midfielder who has also spent time playing as a centre-back this season.

In all likelihood, Martinez will not be available during the 2014 summer transfer window. But in the event his status at Bayern changes, Wenger should be on the phone as soon as possible.



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