Arsenal Transfer News: Big-Money Deals Planned by Gunners' Hierarchy

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 27, 2014

Hoffenheim's Roberto Firmino of Brazil kicks  the ball during a German first division Bundesliga soccer match between TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and Bayern Munich in Sinsheim, Germany, Saturday, Nov.2, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
Michael Probst/Associated Press

Arsene Wenger may not be finished completing big-money transfer deals to add major talents to Arsenal's squad ahead of the new season. The latest reports see the Gunners boss on the trail of a gifted Brazilian attacker, while there is also potentially very positive news concerning the pursuit of Germany midfielder Sami Khedira.

Wenger has already added Alexis Sanchez to his attack and has focused the rest of his efforts on defensive recruits. Full-back Mathieu Debuchy has already arrived, while young Southampton defender Calum Chambers could be next, per BBC Sport reporters David Ornstein and Nabil Hassan.

Meanwhile, has confirmed that Colombia international goalkeeper David Ospina has joined the Gunners. These signings, both completed and prospective, already represent a busy summer for Wenger.

Here's a more in-depth look at what else the Arsenal chief is working on:


Wenger Could Sell Joel Campbell to Fund Roberto Firmino Deal

Not content with his already ample options in attacking midfield areas, Wenger is reportedly keen on Hoffenheim ace Roberto Firmino.

In fact, Daily Star reporter Tony Stenson claims Wenger could sell Joel Campbell to help fund a £20 million deal for the mercurial and creative Brazilian:

Firmino is the kind of attacking player manager Arsene Wenger loves and he finished last season as fourth highest scorer in the German league with 16 goals and 14 assists.

He will use cash from the possible £13million sale of Costa Rica’s World Cup hero Joel Campbell to AC Milan to secure any future new deals.

Stenson references interest and likely competition from fellow Premier League sides Liverpool and Chelsea. However, he also suggests Wenger is pursuing Firmino because he is wary of Santi Cazorla's potential departure to Spanish side Atletico Madrid. 

Any move for Firmino could depend on the immediate future of Santi Cazorla.
Any move for Firmino could depend on the immediate future of Santi Cazorla.Paul Gilham/Getty Images

That seems to contradict recent reports stating Cazorla has reaffirmed his commitment to the Gunners. After praising Atletico, per Marca reporter Alberto Rubio, Cazorla also spoke of his desire to win big trophies at Arsenal.

In this context, it's difficult to see where Firmino, while remarkably talented, would fit at Arsenal. As a player who flourishes mostly in central areas, he doesn't have an obvious role on the flanks, though he could play there under Wenger.

Firmino could also transition to striker, at least in a supporting capacity. However, he would still find those areas crowded by the presence of club-record signing Mesut Ozil.

This rumour will ultimately be decided by how badly Wenger wants the player. The Frenchman loves technically proficient players and has rarely passed on a creative maestro.

But even that fondness might not be enough to bloat a key position in his squad, particularly at the cost of £20 million.


Khedira Reduces Wage Demands to Remain in Arsenal's Range

Khedira's potential switch from Real Madrid is growing increasingly complex and frankly tiresome. Initially, a move seemed very likely.

However, that optimism was soon quashed by reports of Khedira's exorbitant wage demands. They were reportedly in the region of £150,000 per week, according to James Orr of The Independent.

Just when all hope appeared lost, reports in German newspaper Bild (h/t suggested Khedira still favours a move to Arsenal.

Khedira could still be a viable option for the Gunners.
Khedira could still be a viable option for the Gunners.Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Those reports have perhaps been given veracity by news from Mirror writer Ben Burrows, citing Spanish television station La Sexta, that Khedira has lowered his fiscal demands:

Arsenal are still firmly in the running to sign midfielder Sami Khedira - and will be boosted by news he has dropped his wage demands.

Arsene Wenger is a big admirer of the German international and would love to add him to his ranks this summer.

That equates to some £135,000 per week, a figure that would make him the highest paid player at the club, but is significantly down on the £150,000/£160,000 quoted earlier this summer.

It's clear to anyone who has watched both Arsenal and Khedira how well club and player are suited. Khedira would answer the Gunners' need for greater strength and drive in midfield.

The 27-year-old's box-to-box talents would be given more freedom by Wenger than they might receive in Madrid. Khedira could be required to restrict himself to defensive areas in a Los Blancos midfield that will feature Luka Modric and James Rodriguez this season.

Khedira's natural drive and forward instincts would be valued more at Arsenal than Real Madrid.
Khedira's natural drive and forward instincts would be valued more at Arsenal than Real Madrid.Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Of the latest rumours, potential movement on the Khedira front is the most encouraging. Despite the talents of Firmino and Costa, the Gunners barely have the room or need for more attacking midfield players.

By contrast, Khedira possesses qualities Arsenal currently lack. He would make an immediate difference in a key area.