Arsenal Transfer News: Latest on Marco Reus and Key Summer Targets

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2014

Arsenal's summer of big spending appears far from over with positive news regarding a potential move for Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus. There is also news about a possible midfield signing, although it's not exactly encouraging stuff.

Finally, manager Arsene Wenger is being encouraged to partner new arrival Alexis Sanchez with Chile international teammate Eduardo Vargas. However, it's difficult to tell exactly how much interest the Gunners actually have in the Napoli attacker.

Here's a more in-depth look at Arsenal's latest transfer rumours, beginning with the situation concerning Reus.


Reus Unlikely to Sign New Deal

A late move for German ace Reus is still a possibility thanks to the player's apparent refusal to sign a new deal with Dortmund. The Bundesliga club are anxious to offer Reus fresh terms that cancel out the mooted €25 million release clause in his current contract.

But Reus will reject any such deal, per German newspaper Bild (h/t Sport Witness):

Bild explain on Friday that the probability of Reus signing a new contract which ups his exit clause, or removes it entirely, is extremely low. That again is very bad news for Dortmund.

The perfect storm for Arsenal then? Quite possibly so. Arsenal would be able to bid this summer and then remove any danger of the player going to Bayern Munich and perhaps also give Dortmund more money than they'd get for the player next summer.

The Gunners have recently been credited as favourites to snatch one of Dortmund's prized assets by German outlet Die Welt (h/t Ibrahim Akkas of Squawka Football News).

However, Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc quickly attempted to dampen this speculation during an interview with Sport1 (h/t Metro):

[We will] definitely try to keep him long term.

Marco is not only a hugely important player for us because of his athletic performance, but also in his role as a poster boy.

He is Dortmund-born and a figurehead for this club.

If there is any chance a deal can be done for Reus, then Wenger should do all he can to make it happen. The pacy German attacker is exactly the kind of versatile forward the Arsenal boss is making the foundation of his new-look team.

That's why he signed Sanchez from FC Barcelona, a player who can operate wide or through the middle. Reus has that same flexibility. His movement is exceptional, and the Borussia star rarely wastes a chance when it comes his way.

Adding Reus to a forward line already featuring Sanchez would remove the need for a traditional central striker. But even if Wenger decided to keep towering Frenchman Olivier Giroud in place, Reus would still make sense.

He would thrive on the left flank, a problem position for the Gunners in recent seasons. Players such as Gervinho, Yossi Benayoun, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla have all unsuccessfully tried to make the left-sided berth their own.

With Reus in the mix, along with Sanchez and Theo Walcott, Wenger would finally have the pace and fluidity up front his expansive style of football demands.


Agent Encourages Arsenal Bid for Vargas

If Wenger is still searching for another forward, then Christian Ogalde thinks he has the answer. The agent of Chilean international Vargas is reportedly encouraging the Arsenal boss to bid for his client.

According to Daily Express writer Ben Jefferson, Ogalde is using interest from other clubs to stir up some high-profile interest in his player:

The Gunners have been linked with a move for the 24-year-old striker, who is an international teammate of new arrival Alexis Sanchez.

Vargas spent the latter part of last season on loan at Valencia after struggling to break into Rafa Benitez's plans in Italy.

And with one year remaining on his contract Napoli could look to sell this summer rather than risk losing the player for nothing in a year's time.

This is a somewhat strange report, as it's not entirely clear if Ogalde is courting Arsenal, or if Jefferson is simply trying to connect dots given that Vargas and Sanchez are international teammates.

It wouldn't be the first time the Gunners have been credited with interest in the forward. Back in January, 2013, Forza Italian Football suggested Arsenal were close to wrapping up a loan deal for Vargas.

There's certainly no doubt that Vargas and Sanchez have a great rapport together on the pitch. They combined well at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, using quick movement and combination passing to fashion chances.

As a player who can operate anywhere across a forward line, Vargas certainly fits the mould of attackers Wenger usually covets. However, despite his versatility and technical quality, Vargas is far from prolific.

He netted just three league goals while on loan at La Liga side Valencia last term, per Arsenal may want to consider a more efficient option.

It's easy to believe Wenger is still not entirely satisfied with his options up front. He continues to experiment with playing Sanchez as a striker, a trial that will continue against Manchester City in the FA Community Shield, according to Mirror reporter Mike Walters.


No Bid for Carvalho But Arsenal Still Looking For A Midfield Recruit

It seems that the consistent links between Arsenal and Sporting Lisbon's midfield destroyer William Carvalho are not as strong as first assumed.

The Portuguese club has denied receiving any bids for the highly regarded 22-year-old, per Sky Sports reporter Daniel Feliciano:

Sporting Lisbon chairman Bruno de Carvalho insists they are yet to receive an offer for reported Premier League target William Carvalho.

The Portuguese midfielder is understood to have attracted a lot of interest following a series of impressive performances last season.

Manchester United have previously been linked with a move, while last week there was speculation that Arsenal had lodged a bid in the region of £24million.

This is a curious development in Arsenal's mooted search for more strength and athleticism in the middle. Carvalho offers those qualities in abundance. He is a young talent ready to be shaped into a star.

That's usually the ideal transfer profile to tempt Wenger into action. However, things stalling in Portugal doesn't mean the Gunners chief is giving up his search for a new midfielder.

BBC Sport reporter David Ornstein insists Wenger will continue to scour the market for a midfield player with defensive qualities:

Wenger would certainly be wise to continue his pursuit of players offering greater physicality in the middle. The club is currently loaded with slight, creative schemers such as Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta.

Wenger would be wise to add some balance to this mix ahead of the new season.

The latest rumours suggest the Gunners remain heavily involved in a transfer market that has already proved to be a happy hunting ground this summer.

The links to Reus and Vargas make sense for a team that entered this window needing to overhaul its static attack. But developments in midfield could prove to be more intriguing between now and the signing deadline.


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