Arsenal Transfer News: Latest on Alvaro Morata, Bacary Sagna and More

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMay 16, 2014

SEVILLE, SPAIN - JANUARY 18:  Alvaro B. Morata of Real Madrid CF celebrates scoring their fifth goal during the La Liga match between Real Betis Balompie and Real Madrid CF at Estadio Benito Villamarin on January 18, 2014 in Seville, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Both old faces and new have been linked with a move to Arsenal this week as the club prepares to face off against Hull City in the final of this season's FA Cup.

The fixture provides the Gunners with an opportunity to end a trophyless spell dating back to 2005 but transfer speculation is still the talk of the town at the Emirates Stadium.

As the club gets preparations underway for the 2014-15 campaign, we break down some of the latest developments to emerge regarding those both coming and going in the Arsenal ranks.


Antonio Conte Keen On Alvaro Morata 

Long have the Gunners been associated with Castilla youth product and Real Madrid starlet Alvaro Morata, per John Cross of The Mirror, but Juventus look likely to run Arsenal close in the race for his signature.

Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

Intensifying rumours that the Serie A champions will make a move for the Spaniard, manager Antonio Conte is quoted by Spanish newspaper Marca (h/t's Stefan Coerts) stating his admiration of the forward:

Morata is a great player and has a big future ahead of him. I can say with certainty that he has the potential to become a world-class attacker. However, he is a Real Madrid player at this point.

One person who doesn't want to see Morata move is Real manager Carlo Ancelotti, whom ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan quotes, stating his belief that he can learn from those ahead of him in the pecking order:

Arsenal proved this term they are in need of attacking reinforcements, having leaned too heavily on the talents of French striker Olivier Giroud in recent months, but Juve's interest could see the English powerhouse pushed further back in their hunt.


Manchester City Close In On Bacary Sagna 

Bacary Sagna's impending departure from north London will be a damaging blow for Arsenal to accept, made all the more devastating should the Frenchman move to one of their direct rivals.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 15:  Bacary Sagna of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on April 15, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

That is precisely what could come to fruition in the coming weeks as the Daily Mail reports Manchester City will seek to agree terms with the right-back after this weekend's FA Cup final.

Matt Hughes of The Times says some of those at the Emirates Stadium are already aware of where the defender will be playing his football next season:

However, Sagna refuses to comment on his future until his current deal, expiring in June, is done, but Wenger said he would have no problems picking him on Saturday: 

I told you many times, for me a professional is to give your best until the last day of your contract. That's for me the real professional. I don't doubt their integrity, their desire to win and their commitment at all.

Carl Jenkinson would sit as the next in line to replace Sagna if he were to depart Wenger's squad this summer. If Arsenal are to be anymore competitive next season than they were this time around, it's likely that a more experienced asset will be required.


Salomon Kalou Nearing Premier League Return?

Two years after leaving Chelsea for Lille of the French top flight, Salomon Kalou could be on his way back to the Premier League, having once again become linked with Arsenal this summer.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - MARCH 05:  Salomon Kalou of Ivory Coast smiles prior to the International Friendly match between Belgium and Ivory Coast at The King Baudouin Stadium on March 5, 2014 in Brussels, Belgium.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Sky Sports reports that the Ligue 1 giants "face a fight" to hang onto the versatile forward, while adding that the Ivory Coast international is open to an English return.

The 28-year-old's purchase would go some way in adding depth to the Gunners' offensive ranks, and David Wright of the Express earlier this month quoted Wenger in admitting his need for more options up top:

Maybe we have over-played him (Giroud) 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.

Kalou would appear to fit that bill in terms of being able to play both out wide or in a supporting striker role, but Roma, Atletico Madrid, Monaco and Galatasaray are all mentioned by Sky Sports as potential challengers for the former Blue.


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