Arsenal Transfer News: Major Deals Targeted by Arsene Wenger This Summer

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2014

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - MAY 14:  Arsene Wenger of Arsenal looks on during a training session ahead of the FA Cup Final match between Arsenal and Hull City at London Colney on May 14, 2014 in St Albans, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Arsenal need to bring in reinforcements over the summer transfer window as, despite winning the FA Cup, they continued to under-perform in the Premier League in 2013-14, once again finishing fourth.

There were good signs for the Gunners and their fans last season, they topped the table for a large chunk of it, per the Premier League, but their lack of depth showed through as they fell away at the term's end.

Thus, added strength is needed in a variety of positions, and the north London outfit have been linked with some star names from across Europe who might be making the switch to the Emirates.

Here is the latest news on a couple of Arsenal's reported targets as Wenger looks ahead to the start of the new season in August.

Mario Balotelli

NATAL, BRAZIL - JUNE 24:  Mario Balotelli of Italy reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Heavily linked with a move to north London, AC Milan's Mario Balotelli certainly fits the bill as a quality striker who could compete with and complement current front man Olivier Giroud.

Last week Wenger played down the link to the Italian youngster, telling beIN Sports, via Eurosport, that the rumours held no weight:

It’s pure invention. We cannot believe absolutely everything that is on the internet or in the papers. Sometimes it’s created by agents or by press who needs news. But in this case, it’s not true.

Subsequently, however, Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola has confirmed that the 23-year-old wants to leave Milan and reports suggest the Gunners are being sounded out for a potential £25 million move, per John Cross in the Mirror.

Balotelli was part of the Italian national team that were knocked out of the World Cup in Brazil at the group stage on Tuesday, the striker turning in mixed performances during the competition.

Cross reported Raiola's comments that Balotelli feels let down after Milan vice-president Barbara Berlusconi described him as "replaceable:"

Mario is sad, desperate. Only [Milan vice-president Adriano] Galliani has defended him while the FIGC (Italian football federation) remains absolutely silent.

I appreciate Galliani's comments, but now I want to respond to Barbara Berlusconi. If, for her, Mario is replaceable, she should set up a meeting in the club's headquarters and we will find a solution, just as I am used to doing.

I remember that Mario had other important offers. He (Balotelli) is at Milan because of his heart - her (Berlusconi), I don't know.

Balotelli top-scored for Milan last season with 14 Serie A goals—as well as six assists per—and is a proven threat in front of goal. 

However, his temperament is a real concern, and Wenger may not be prepared to take a risk on a player who has proved disruptive in the past.

Loic Remy

NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND-  May 03: Loic Remy (R) and Shola Ameobi (L) of Newcastle during a lap of honour after the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Cardiff City at St. James'  Park on May 03, 2014  in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Ph
Richard Sellers/Getty Images

QPR's Loic Remy is another reported strike target of Wenger's as he looks to bolster his attacking options ahead of next season.

The 27-year-old is currently with the French squad at the World Cup ahead of their last-16 encounter with Nigeria on Monday, and according to Sami Mokbel in the Daily Mail, Arsenal are closing in on snapping up Remy:

The Gunners are growing increasingly confident of landing the pacy centre-forward this summer. QPR boss Harry Redknapp revealed in May that Remy, 27, has an £8million release fee in his contract - and Arsenal are now ready to trigger the clause.

Remy made his desire to play Champions League football known back in April and looks like a good fit for the Gunners, per ESPN FC

"I want to join a great European club, to play at the highest level."

While on loan at Newcastle last season, he scored 14 goals in 26 appearances, a very good return of better than a goal every two games. His prior knowledge of Premier League football makes him an attractive prospect for Wenger and Arsenal, as does his relatively low price tag.

Furthermore, he is already familiar with many of the Arsenal squad—including Giroud, the man he would partner—having played with them for the French national team. 

Arsenal need to spend well in the transfer market, and if they snap up Balotelli and Remy, they would be showing real intent as to their prospects for the upcoming season, per The Chronicle's Lee Ryder:

Whether they will get—or even want—both players remains to be seen, but Wenger would do well to get his summer business started soon to avoid losing out on key targets.


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