Should Arsenal’s summer shopping spree end now, a lot of Gunners fans will be perfectly satisfied with their transfer-window haul.
With several big-name stars making their way to the Emirates over the last few months, the air in north London has a rather optimistic feel about it.
However, it seems that manager Arsene Wenger isn’t quite finished yet, and two more high-profile targets are reportedly on his radar.
Shakhtar Donetsk sensation Douglas Costa is the latest star to be rumoured with a switch to the English capital, as the youngster is reportedly unsettled with life in Ukraine.
As Anthony Chapman of the Daily Express revealed, the current conflict in the region has made Costa want out, putting Arsenal on red alert.
However, the 23-year-old Brazilian's price tag may just put the Gunners off moving for the forward, with Shakhtar revealing that his €50 million release clause must be met if he’s to move on.
Club president Sergei Palkin told the club website that while Costa’s departure is a serious possibility, no offers have been tabled just yet, per Chapman:
"Everyone says that Costa's goodbye is close, but the club has not received any proposals and his buyout clause is €50million."
With that in mind, Chapman writes that Arsenal are focusing on bringing the Brazilian to the Emirates on loan for the upcoming campaign, but exactly how much that will add to their setup has to be questioned.
When Premier League action returns, Wenger is likely to lead with a front three featuring Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott on either side of Olivier Giroud, barring any injuries.
Even with Sanchez and Walcott out of the picture for one reason or another—Walcott himself won’t be returning until September—the options in Costa’s position are both strong and dangerous.
The move for Costa, especially on a loan deal, seems a little odd to me. Yes, we could all argue that Arsenal do indeed need another forward, but when you actually sit down and look at the personnel they have available upfront it becomes a little harder to understand where he will fit in.
As Hurley says, landing another forward wouldn’t be the worst thing for the Gunners, but their attention is better focused on an out-and-out striker to give Giroud a run for his money in the No. 9 role.
Should Costa’s loan move include the promise of a permanent transfer afterwards, then it starts to make a bit of sense, but with Shakhtar proving stubborn with their star man, the chances of that are unlikely.
Another player on Wenger’s list in his hunt for a new forward is Chilean Eduardo Vargas, whose stock rose considerably after an impressive World Cup in Brazil.
Vargas formed a formidable forward partnership with Sanchez up front for Chile, and as Metro reported, a reunion is well within the realm of possibility.
The report states that the Gunners have entered the race to land Vargas, who has struggled to find consistency in Serie A with Napoli since making the switch to Italy in 2012.
Vargas is the kind of player who would provide Giroud with some competition, while his versatility means that wing play is also a possibility—fitting in perfectly with the Arsenal mould.
The Gunners reportedly face stiff competition for his signature, though, with Valencia, who took Vargas on loan last season, looking to bring him back to La Liga, per Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.
The Chile star made 17 league appearances during his time in Spain, according to WhoScored.com, scoring three goals and creating one more.
Vargas clearly impressed the powers that be at Valencia during that spell, including sporting director Francisco Rufete, who confirmed that the club have been chasing his signature, per Jefferson:
"We have begun negotiations with Napoli for the acquisition of Eduardo Vargas and our interest is very serious. However, a move will depend entirely on the conditions put in place by the Neapolitan club."
Valencia’s interest means that Wenger needs to act fast if he’s to bring Vargas to the Emirates, and with a reported £10 million price tag, he could well prove to be a player worth chasing.