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Arsenal Transfer News: Shock Branislav Ivanovic Rumours, Latest on Alvaro Morata

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 05:  Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea and Marko Arnautovic of Stoke City compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Stoke City at Stamford Bridge on April 5, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2014

Arsenal are reportedly preparing a shock move to bring Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic to the Emirates as a replacement for the departing Thomas Vermaelen.

According to the Metro, the Arsenal skipper—who has only one year left on his contract—wants out of north London, and Arsene Wenger sees the 30-year-old Serbian as an ideal replacement:

Gunners captain Vermaelen, who is a target for Manchester United, wants to leave the club this summer in search of regular first-team football.

And reports in the Serbian media say Arsenal want 30-year-old Ivanovic to move across London to replace him at the Emirates.

The versatile defender—Ivanovic can play at both centre-back and right-back—played 36 times in the Premier League for Chelsea last season, per WhoScored.com, indicating the huge role he has to play in the Blues team.

However, the presence of Gary Cahill and John Terry has forced Ivanovic out of his preferred position, and the spectre of Cesar Azpilicueta looms—the Spaniard played most of last season out of position on the left. 

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25:  Thomas Vermaelen of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on November 25, 2013 in St Albans, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Arsenal have recently seen the departure of Bacary Sagna, and if Vermaelen were also to leave, Ivanovic would provide terrific strength across the Gunners' back four.

However, Vermaelen recently denied rumours linking him with a move from the Emirates to Old Trafford, per Sky Sports (via Goal.com): "I know there has been a lot of talk and a lot of rumours but the only thing I can say is that it's not true."

The Metro report suggests that Arsenal believe they can snap Ivanovic up for just £7 million; however, as Squawka notes, any scenario in which he would leave Stamford Bridge seems highly unlikely:

Another Arsenal target, Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata, may be about to slip through their fingers after AS reported Juventus and Wolfsburg lead the race to sign the 21-year-old striker.

Arsenal desperately need a new front man after Olivier Giroud was burdened with too much goalscoring responsibility last season. They need a new man who can bag 20 goals a season if the Gunners are to properly contend for the Premier League in 2014-15.

Furthermore, the replacement of Sagna is essential, as he has been a stalwart of the side for some time, but the Gunners may have overreached in pursuing Ivanovic

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