As situations continue to develop quickly, it's becoming clear that at least one of these names is likely to look beyond joining up with Arsene Wenger next season. Below we detail the latest news on all three players.
Latest on Arsenal's Potential Transfer Activity
Cesc Fabregas, Barcelona
The Fabregas homecoming doesn't seem likely. Fresh on the back of allegedly being told he can leave Barcelona, Chelsea appear to have moved for the former Gunners star. In fact, the Stamford Bridge club are ready to offer the unwanted Barca man a hefty contract to secure his signature, reported by Metro:
Chelsea are ready to hand Cesc Fabregas a whopping £200,000 a week to move to Stamford Bridge from Barcelona this summer.
[...] According to sources in Spain, Chelsea are willing to bolster Fabregas' salary to about £200,000 a week if moves to west London.
Of course, the secrecy of such a deal was perhaps undone by Gerard Pique, who was caught chatting with Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque before a press conference. Both TVE and AStv picked up a conversation in which the Blaugrana centre-back reportedly said, "[Cesc] told me it's all done. He's going—33 million [euros] he told me," per Rik Sharma of the Daily Mail.
At this point, it's important to stress that Pique didn't mention Chelsea. He could simply be indicating the terms Barcelona want to be met before Fabregas can leave. Guillem Balague, Sky Sports' Spanish football expert and Bleacher Report UK guest columnist, believes there is still work to be done:
Cesc hasnt got a deal with Chelsea, it doesnt matter what Pique or others say. Not yet. Conversations taking place but NO DEAL YET. Not yet— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) June 4, 2014
While confirmation is yet to seep through, Arsenal fans may have to get used to seeing another former player representing a Premier League rival.
Aymeric Laporte, Athletic Bilbao
Arsenal are said to be interested in landing versatile Athletic Bilbao youngster Aymeric Laporte, who has impressed a number of people with a season of strong performances in the Basque defence. The 20-year-old is said to have a £30 million buyout clause, but amid speculation, he has admitted he is in no rush to move away from La Liga just yet, per David Wright of the Express:
Am I going to leave this summer? No, I am happy at Bilbao. I have a €36million release clause and if one day a departure could become possible, I would think about it.
Would it be a disappointment to stay at Athletic? Not at all. I will remain in a great team, playing in one of the best leagues in the world.
Laporte is certainly a prospect for Wenger to continue monitoring. Barely out of his teens, the tall defender racked up 34 appearances during Bilbao's 2013-14 league campaign, fitting in at both centre-back and on the left, per WhoScored.com. He is a strong tackler, confident on the ball and is likely to continue improving across the next few years, but he shouldn't be a priority for the Gunners, who need a new right-back.
Nemanja Pejcinovic, Nice
Wenger will certainly be looking to land value for money in this era of UEFA Financial Fair Play rules. If that is the case, he needn't look any further than Nemanja Pejcinovic, who has decided against signing a new contract with Nice in favour of taking his career to the next level.
Anthony Chapman of the Express has reported comments from the centre-back, who is likely to drum up plenty of interest throughout the summer:
My current ambitions are currently higher than what Nice can offer me today. I know Nice can improve but right now I have to think about myself and my family. I have always wanted to play in the Champions League or at least in some other European competition. It is a dream I have had since I was little.
I now have the opportunity to do so.
At 26 years old, Pejcinovic offers a more experienced and certainly less costly alternative to Laporte. He would be quality cover for Laurent Koscielny or Per Mertesacker and allow Wenger the opportunity to keep his main bulk of funds free for a more important signing.
Certainly worth a punt for free, the Serbian defender could add to Arsenal's defensive strength in depth, something that needs retuning heading into next season.
Who should Arsenal prioritise?
Wenger is likely to freshen up across the board, so taking the odd cheap deal is certainly a viable way of ensuring money remains for the most important transfer of all: a new striker.
Arsenal's need for a world-class alternative to Olivier Giroud is well-documented and could play a part in the club not bothering to exercise their first option for Fabregas.
Just because a player is loved, doesn't mean he fits. Arsenal have moved on since the Spaniard left and are currently packed with similar individuals, suggesting an attempt to land Cesc would represent £30 million that could be better spent elsewhere.
Wenger would be wise to opt for Pejcinovic over Laporte if he's looking for a left-sided defensive type to ensure the opportunity to land a key offensive talent remains.