Arsenal are apparently ready to walk away from a potential deal for Queens Park Rangers striker Loic Remy. Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express has reported Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is not prepared to meet the French international's wage demands:
Reports suggest that the Gunners had agreed to meet Remy's £8m release clause at QPR.
But the north London club are only willing to offer wages of around £50,000-a-week while Remy wants closer to £80,000-a-week.
Arsene Wenger had wanted to land Remy as back-up for Olivier Giroud next season but he is not willing to be held to ransom over wages to get his man.
While Wenger needs to reinvent his attack after a season of largely static forward play, he's wise to turn his back on this particular deal. After all, the Arsenal chief has already signed Chile international Alexis Sanchez to add pace and more fluid movement to his forward line.
Remy offers similar qualities but not at quite the same level as Sanchez. Jefferson's report states Wenger instead wanted the ex-Marseille hotshot as a deputy to current starting centre-forward Olivier Giroud.
That idea has some merit, but it's not one worth paying £80,000 per week to see in practice. Remy would offer a speedy alternative to the towering and more lumbering Giroud (1.92 m, 88 kg).
However, that same alternative is offered by players already in this Arsenal squad, including Sanchez. Wenger recently described his new signing's potential to operate "through the middle," calling him a "modern striker," during an interview with Eurosport.
Of course, Sanchez isn't the only speedster Wenger can unleash from central areas. Theo Walcott is likely to never abandon his dream of playing as a natural striker, rather playing than on the flanks.
The England international has had some success through the middle for Arsenal. Of course, Walcott has been recovering from a serious knee injury since January.
However, he is currently making progress ahead of the new season:
Jack Wilshere confirms Theo Walcott is back in Arsenal training pic.twitter.com/JF5CrO40qE— 101 Great Goals (@102greatgoals) July 17, 2014
As much as Walcott and Sanchez can offer a different alternative to Giroud, they can also act as complements for him as well. What Giroud lacks in quickness and guile in front of goal, he makes up for with intelligent link play.
He has the strength to ward off defenders, allied with the technical instincts to release midfield runners and supporting forwards with classy flicks and touches.
Giroud contributed eight assists in the Premier League last season, per WhoScored.com. The Frenchman's backheel to create Aaron Ramsey's winner in the FA Cup final serves as a prime example of his value to the team.
Giroud already has enough supporting attackers around him, especially after the arrival of Sanchez. Wenger should be under no pressure to go out and sign another supporting foil.
Are Arsenal Right to Decline Signing Loic Remy?
Although Remy can play wide, he is at his best through the middle. But having him replace Giroud would alter a key dynamic to the way the Gunners currently create scoring chances.
Wenger should opt for a more prolific version of Giroud, rather than changing the mold altogether.
Declining to sign Remy is the right call from a manager who also needs to focus his remaining resources on adding more energy and physicality in midfield.