Arsenal Transfer News: Latest on Mario Mandzukic, Serge Aurier and More

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVJune 21, 2014

MANAUS, BRAZIL - JUNE 18:  Mario Mandzukic of Croatia celebrates scoring the third goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Cameroon and Croatia at Arena Amazonia on June 18, 2014 in Manaus, Brazil.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

With the 2014 World Cup in full swing, there's no better time than now for Arsenal supporters to get a good look at the Gunners' likeliest summer transfer acquisitions.

Manager Arsene Wenger has been equipped with a £100 million transfer kitty to do as he wishes over the summer window, per the Daily Mail's Sami Mokbel. It remains to be seen if that much money will be flying around, but if Wenger spends anywhere near all of it, there will be some major acquisitions in tow.

Let's take a look at the top targets the Gunners are looking at and break down the latest news surrounding each.


Mario Mandzukic

MANAUS, BRAZIL - JUNE 18:  Mario Mandzukic of Croatia controls the ball as Nicolas N'Koulou of Cameroon gives chase during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Cameroon and Croatia at Arena Amazonia on June 18, 2014 in Manaus, Brazil.  (Ph
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

As Mario Mandzukic continues to put on a show in Brazil, the news surrounding his future continues to change.

The Croatian striker has long been one of the Gunners' top targets to fill the void up top, but their pursuit hit a snag when the Mirror's Ben Burrows surfaced a report from German newspaper Die Welt that Mandzukic was set for a return to his former club, Wolfsburg.

Not soon after, though, that was shot down when Burrows translated another report from the German media that Wolfsburg had confirmed Mandzukic would not be joining their side in the offseason:

'Mandzukic will not return to Wolfsburg,' Stephan Gruhsem told German football magazine Kicker.

The news will come as a boost to Arsene Wenger and Arsenal who are known admirers of the 28-year-old front man.

So, after that back-and-forth, it still remains that Mandzukic is on the radar for some of the Premier League's top clubs. The door has remained open for Arsenal to swoop for the Croatian standout to anchor their attack.

The 28-year-old has had a productive few seasons at Bayern Munich with 48 goals in 88 appearances with the club, but it appears that the two parties are set go their separate ways—especially with Robert Lewandowski joining the fold.

As for Arsenal, there's no doubt that they need to fill the void at striker with a player capable of taking over matches. Mandzukic showed with his brace against Cameroon that he can do just that.


Serge Aurier

Ricardo Mazalan/Associated Press

From one Arsenal target dominating at the World Cup to, well, another Arsenal target dominating at the World Cup.

Toulouse right-back Serge Aurier isn't a household name, but the 21-year-old is one of the best up-and-coming defenders. After an incredible performance in his World Cup debut with the Ivory Coast, the Gunners moved quickly with him.

Alex Harris of the Express reported Saturday that Aurier and Arsenal have agreed to terms:

According to reports, the Gunners have agreed a five-year contract worth £60,000 a week with the Ivory Coast star.

Arsene Wenger is eager to sign a new right-back having lost Bacary Sagna to Premier League rivals Manchester City on a free transfer earlier this month.

The only stumbling block to the deal remains a transfer fee with Arsenal hoping to get the player for £6.5m but Toulouse are looking for £8m.

If there was any doubt as to Aurier's ability, he quelled it within 90 minutes in Brazil.

Aurier was the man of the match against Japan in the Elephants' opener. After the Japanese went up early, Aurier produced the two goals that eventually put Ivory Coast in front by assisting both with pinpoint crosses.

BBC's John Bennett summed up what his performance meant for clubs such as Arsenal:

If a 21-year-old Aurier can have that type of impact at the World Cup level at the right-back position, there's no telling what he'll be capable of when he fulfills his complete potential.

The Gunners could certainly use that sort of impact in the back line with Sagna departing for greener pastures.


Thomas Vermaelen

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Thomas Vermaelen played his way out of the starting 11 throughout the 2013-14 season, and Manchester United have been linked to him, per the Daily Mail's Sami Mokbel, but that doesn't mean he's on his way out of Emirates Stadium just yet.

In Brazil with the Belgium national team, Vermaelen took it upon himself to shoot down the rumours, per the Metro's Hannah Duncan:

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.

Everybody understands my situation at Arsenal and that I have one year left.

I understand that people are going to talk but I am here in Brazil and I am enjoying my time and I'm focused on what I am doing.

It has seemed inevitable at times that Vermaelen was heading out of Arsenal, and that still might be the case. But it certainly quells the talk a bit as action continues in Brazil.

The Gunners back line is pretty set with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker manning it well throughout last season. The 28-year-old Vermaelen might not be content with a squad spot, but having him available gives Arsenal plenty of insurance in defense.

There is plenty of time left before the summer window for Vermaelen to try to force a move for more playing time, and a place such as Manchester United may be the best option—where he can contend for an EPL title and play an integral role.

But after the latest news, don't count out Vermaelen being a part of the Gunners squad in 2014-15 to play out the final year of his deal.