Arsenal Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Arsene Wenger's Major Midfield Targets

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJuly 27, 2014

Shakhtar Donetsk's Douglas Costa  celebrates after scoring during the Champions League group A soccer match between Real Sociedad and FC Shakhtar Donetsk at the Donbas Arena stadium in Donetsk, Ukraine, Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press

Midfield reinforcements remain the highest priority on Arsene Wenger's wish list this summer, with a deeper focus being placed upon rebuffing the club's engine room.

Latest developments have seen Arsenal's hopes of signing Sami Khedira improve, while Morgan Schneiderlin remains an alternative option in that part of the pitch, while the Gunners are already edging in on one of the Frenchman's Southampton team-mates.

The club could also benefit from the dangerous events unfolding in Ukraine, with a Shakhtar Donetsk playmaker moving closer to an exit from the Donbass Arena.


Douglas Costa

Petros Karadjias/Associated Press

After turning renegade on a preseason trip to France, Douglas Costa is refusing to return to Ukraine amid the political concerns currently engulfing the country, hoping to force an exit from the club.

According to Dutch outlet Voetbal Primeur (h/t Metro), Arsenal hope that a £15.8 million offer will be enough to tempt the club into parting ways with their winger-cum-attacking midfielder, who has been quoted by the Associated Press (h/t The Guardian) on his reasons for rebelling:

"I like the club, the people, the city, but I’m afraid. We want to stay at the club, but we must have risk-free working conditions."

Costa is now in his native Brazil after going AWOL following a friendly against Lyon, along with Shakhtar team-mate Alex Teixeira. Sky Sports' South American correspondent Paulo Freitas rates Costa as the more promising of the two:

Metro report that the Ukrainian champions are refusing to allow their star to leave, but in the end, his contract reneging could work in Arsenal's favour with the view to agreeing a Premier League switch.


Sami Khedira

Fabrizio Bensch/Associated Press

Arsenal may reconsider their bid to sign Real Madrid's Khedira after the World Cup winner dropped his wage demands, according to La Sexta journalist Jose Luis Sanchez, per Metro:

Sanchez's tweet alleges that the German international is now seeking an annual salary of €9 million, equivalent to £134,000-a-week which, while still above the Gunners' usual policies, may be found as more acceptable.

Compatriot Lukas Podolski spoke to German newspaper Bild this week (h/t Daily Mail's David Kent), telling fellow World Cup champion Khedira to make the move to the Emirates Stadium:

I didn't have to [try to convince Khedira to join Arsenal]. Sami knows how much fun he could have with me, Mesut [Ozil] and Per [Mertesacker] at Arsenal. We had a great time together at the World Cup and I would like it very much if he comes to London.

It was previously suggested that Khedira's hopes of landing a £150,000-a-week deal were holding any agreement up, but the north Londoners may now have the means to operate within the fresh terms.

Mikel Arteta has done a fine job as the club's midfield general in recent seasons, but the ageing Spaniard has never been a natural asset in a role that Khedira is more suited to.


Morgan Schneiderlin

David Vincent/Associated Press

But should that deal fail, a move for Southampton's Schneiderlin could still be on the table, it seems, after the Daily Star's Bruce Archer said the Gunners want to follow up their supposed signing of Calum Chambers with that of his midfield team-mate.

Earlier in July, Steve Stammers and Dave Kidd of the Mirror quoted Schneiderlin as being uncertain of his St. Mary's future after speaking with new manager Ronald Koeman:

We have a lot of money coming in to the club and now it is up to the board to spend this money. I have seen how many players left the club. It is the club’s choice and I have nothing to say about their choice. Yes he called me about a week ago, but what was said will stay between us.

He wants me to stay and we’ll see. I don’t know yet. I still have three years’ contract at Southampton. Nothing has happened, I am going to relax and go on holiday and we will see.

The anchor may well have grown disillusioned with the club's prospects of late after seeing the likes of Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Rickie Lambert all leave this summer, which could work in Arsenal's favour as they look to extend the Saints' exodus.