Can Arsenal fans finally give themselves some licence to relax?
With fourth place in the bag and an FA Cup final on the horizon, Gunners' supporters will surely enjoy the final knockings of a season that has oscillated between fantastic and farcical.
Now might not be the time to reflect on the campaign as a whole but just to enjoy a day at Wembley and revel in their Champions League status.
Nonetheless, as we stand on the cusp of another transfer window opening, those of an Arsenal allegiance will be second guessing what forays Arsene Wenger will be making into the market.
But they may have to wait a little while, with the Frenchman warning that it’s important to be patient in the window, especially with a World Cup slap-bang in the middle of the summer, per Jack Gaughan of the Mail Online:
In my experience, in a World Cup year, the transfer business does not get done early.
Everybody is focused on the World Cup. At the moment you can do nothing because the season is not over.
Do you realise it is one month from the start of the World Cup? It is unbelievable. The Champions League final is on the 24th May and basically two weeks later it is the start of the World Cup.
The Gunners boss does make a valid point and it'll certainly be difficult to conduct any business prior to the Brazil showpiece. But you’d be naive to think he’s not already got feelers out there, making early enquiries for players who could potentially don the Arsenal red next season.
Here’s the very latest transfer news when it comes to all things Arsenal related.
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has admitted that he would love to see Arsenal bring Cesc Fabregas back to the Emirates Stadium.
In a Twitter question-and-answer session with his followers, the England international was pushed on whether he’d welcome the former Arsenal skipper back to the club:
Fabregas has endured an inconsistent season in Catalonia, and whilst the club could still finish with the league title, Cesca has struggling to find his sparkling best.
The Spanish international was courted by Manchester United last summer, and a recent poll in Spanish newspaper Marca suggested 50 percent of Blaugrana supporters would happily sell the midfielder, per James Dickenson of the Express.
A return to Arsenal in the summer would get the romantics purring, but do the Gunners really need him? Here's how Cesc shapes up against Arsenal's other star midfielders this season:
|Appearances (Sub)||Goals||Assists||Key Passes Per Game|
|Cesc Fabregas||33 (10)||8||13||1.4|
|Aaron Ramsey||19 (3)||9||8||1.3|
|Santi Cazorla||30 (1)||4||8||2|
|Mesut Ozil||24 (1)||5||9||2.8|
Wenger has a myriad of options in the attacking midfield positions and wouldn't be willing to part with a significant amount to bolster an area in which they're already exceptionally well stocked, regardless of Cesc's obvious affinity with the club.
With Barcelona likely to appoint a new manager in the summer, per Alex Richards of the Mirror, Fabregas will no doubt be keen to make a positive early impression and nail down a first-team spot. You suspect that after just three years in Catalonia, he's not ready to give up on his Blaugrana dream quite yet.
The Gunners have made early enquiries for Bayern Munich's Spanish midfielder Javi Martinez, according to reports. According to Jeremy Wilson in the Telegraph, sources suggest that the 25-year-old is unhappy in Bavaria after a season in and out of the side under Pep Guardiola.
Martinez arrived at Bayern from Athletic Bilbao for £31.6 million in the summer of 2012, per the Telegraph, and was a vital component in Jupp Heynckes- treble-winning team.
The Spaniard and Bastian Schweinsteiger formed a formidable partnership at the base of the Bayern midfield, but Guardiola's conversion of Philipp Lahm into a central midfield player has seen Martinez become a peripheral figure.
He’s played at centre-back on occasion, but it's a role he’s previously admitted he doesn't prefer, per Jeremy Wilson in the Telegraph:
I don’t have as much freedom on the field anymore. I don’t get forward as often and my game is a little more static.
The coach [Guardiola] believes that I can play in any of the central positions and I’ll play where I’m needed.
And if he can somehow pull off a deal for Martinez, then he'd be the perfect foil for Arsenal's plethora of intricate, attacking options.
NBC's Robbie Mustoe thinks the player would be a wonderful acquisition for the Gunners:
Today's rumor that really interests me is Javi Martinez to Arsenal. Perfect, ability, strength and intelligence. #DCM— Robbie Mustoe (@robbiemustoe) May 8, 2014
Graham Ruthven thinks a host of clubs should be pursuing Martinez's signature should he become available:
If Javi Martinez is genuinely on the market this summer, Arsenal, Liverpool and Man Utd should all go to Bayern with a blank cheque.— Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven) May 9, 2014
The former Bilbao man brings presence, composure and mettle to the middle of the park; qualities that Arsenal are somewhat lacking at the moment. There aren't many holding midfield players out there who are of comparable class to Martinez, and if a deal is there to be done, then Wenger must splash the cash to secure his services.
According to John Cross of the Mirror, Arsenal's chances of keeping Bacary Sagna at the club have been handed a timely boost, with the Frenchman set to decide his future after the World Cup.
Should Arsenal break the bank to keep Sagna?
Sagna's Arsenal contract expires this summer, with Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco all rumoured to be interested in acquiring the 31-year-old on a free transfer.
But according to Cross, the Frenchman's delay in choosing his next destination has given the Gunners fresh hope of fashioning a new deal for the player.
Sagna remains one of the best full-backs in the Premier League, and it would be a huge shame for the Gunners should they lose him to a direct rival such as City, especially on a free transfer.
If Arsene Wenger showcases an ambition in the transfer market, then it could yet convince Sagna to stick around at the Emirates. Gunners fans will definitely be hoping so, for Sagna's a senior figure at Arsenal, and his influence will be very difficult to replace both on and off the pitch.