Arsenal Transfer News: Arturo Vidal, Jackson Martinez on Arsene Wenger's Radar

Stuart Newman@@StuNewmanSportFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2014

Juventus' Arturo Vidal smiles during a Serie A soccer match between Juventus and Fiorentina at the Juventus stadium, in Turin, Italy, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)
Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

When it comes to the transfer window, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger keeps his cards close to his chest.

World-class talents are dangled in front of fans, their signings coming with the promise of next season being Arsenal’s yearonly for things to fall apart.

It’s no secret that Wenger is looking to rebuild at the Emirates, though, and he reportedly has his sights set on two new recruits.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 17:  Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal looks on in victory after the FA Cup with Budweiser Final match between Arsenal and Hull City at Wembley Stadium on May 17, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Though Arsenal’s midfield is a hub of dynamic quality, adding to it can only be a good thing, and Arturo Vidal is the latest attacking midfielder linked with a move to North London.

As James Orr of The Independent reported (subscription required), Wenger has revealed that he’s a big admirer of the Juventus star, labelling him one of the best in the business:

“Vidal is one of the best midfielders in the world. He has everything. Incredible stamina, perfect timing. He’s a marathon athlete who plays football.”

Vidal was the cornerstone of Juventus’ Serie A success last term, scoring 11 league goals and grabbing five assists according to, making it unlikely that the Italian champions will let their prize asset go cheap.

Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

Orr reports that the Chile international would cost the Gunners a club-record £44 million, £2 million more than Mesut Ozil was signed for last summer.

However, clearly Wenger believes that Vidal could be the right man to lead Arsenal into a new, successful era—he’s not wrong, either.

The 27-year-old enjoyed a fantastic World Cup campaign with Chile in Brazil, being central behind their success before they crashed out to the hosts on penalties on Saturday.

His pace, power and vision make him a very dangerous attacking midfielder, and the kind of player who thrives in a counter-attacking setup.

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 28:  Arturo Vidal of Chile and Luiz Gustavo of Brazil compete for the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Brazil and Chile at Estadio Mineirao on June 28, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Pho
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Vidal’s brilliance hasn’t gone unnoticed, either, with former Manchester United star Juan Sebastian Veron saying to RMC that he’s the best midfielder at the World Cup along with Paul Pogba, per

“This kind of player is rare. I'm very impressed by him (Pogba). He's the best midfielder at the World Cup along with the Chilean, Arturo Vidal. These are two unpredictable players that can always make the difference.”

The Chile star certainly can make a big difference in a side, and though Manchester United are also linked with Vidal, Wenger’s willingness to break the bank could put the Gunners in the transfer driving seat.

CUIABA, BRAZIL - JUNE 13: Arturo Vidal of Chile jumps on a group of teammates celebrating their first goal by Alexis Sanchez (C) during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Chile and Australia at Arena Pantanal on June 13, 2014 in Cuiaba,
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Having Champions League football at the Emirates will also work to Wenger’s advantage when it comes to signing players, and he’ll look to use Europe as the lure for signing a new striker in the coming months.

Though the Gunners have been linked with Mario Mandzukic and Mario Balotelli, no deals have been reached, and the Metro reports that Wenger has now turned his attention to someone new: Jackson Martinez.

Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

The report notes that Portuguese journalists are saying that Arsenal have opened talks with Martinez over a switch to the Premier League from Porto, with a fee of around £20 million said to be on the table.

Martinez scored 20 goals in the Portuguese top flight last term, per, and has carried his form into the World Cup, scoring twice against Japan for Colombia and setting a record in the process, per OptaJose:

Martinez’s proven ability to score goals means he’s the exactly the kind of player that Arsenal need at the Emirates, but he’s going to make fans wait before deciding his future, per Joe Short of the Daily Express:

“I will not think about my future until after the World Cup," Martinez said. "I am happy with my work so far, but we are together as a team and that is very important for us.”

His ability to get into the right positions at the right times is what makes Martinez such a threat, and with Arsenal harbouring one of the most creative midfields in the world, all that’s left to complete the puzzle is a finisher.

Felipe Dana/Associated Press

Both Vidal and Martinez have proved in Brazil that they have what it takes to cut it in the Premier League, and Wenger isn’t the kind of manager to spend big without justification.

The Frenchman is intelligent with his money, and while signing both players could cost upwards of £60 million, it looks as if it would be money well spent.

There was once a time when Arsenal fans would find staring out a window more impressive than the transfer window, but with Wenger reportedly prepared to dig deep into this pockets, it could be an exciting few months for the Gunners.

With last season’s FA Cup marking the end of a 10-year wait for silverware, a new era is underway in North London, and Wenger will hope that Vidal and Martinez will be part of the ride.


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