Arsene Wenger has confirmed he is looking to add further signings to his Arsenal squad before the summer window closes at midnight on Sept. 1, an interesting development considering rumours surrounding Marco Reus' potential Borussia Dortmund exit continue to mount.
The veteran boss spoke honestly during his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's Premier League opener with Crystal Palace, indicating the Gunners' four summer acquisitions could soon be added to, per Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph:
Arsenal are said to be eyeing a final influx of talent as the new season gets underway, with Anthony Chapman of the Express suggesting Reus currently leads Wenger's wish list alongside Edinson Cavani and Sami Khedira.
Dortmund have vehemently denied Reus will leave this summer, per Alex Richards of the Mirror, but momentum appears to be gathering after the versatile forward stalled on a new contract, reported by the Daily Star's Colin Harvey.
Spanish radio station Cadena Cope reports Reus will join Atletico Madrid's redeveloping squad, a claim that is said to be noteworthy by Graham Hunter of Sky Sports:
Should this be true, now is the perfect time to strike for Wenger. Arsenal head into the season after demolishing Manchester City 3-0 in the Community Shield and have strengthened with a marquee signing in the shape of Alexis Sanchez.
Atletico face an almighty challenge to overcome Real Madrid and Barcelona yet again this season, especially when you consider James Rodriguez and Luis Suarez head an impressive slew of signings for the Clasico contenders. Reus would be a perfect fit at Arsenal, where he could flit between the midfield and forward lines, initiate runs from wide and link up with the likes of Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
Cavani looks unlikely to leave Paris Saint-Germain after admitting he feels "very good" about life at the Parc des Princes, per L'Equipe and via Sky Sports. The Uruguayan could provide a much-needed physical alternative to Olivier Giroud, but Wenger may choose to focus on a cheaper target or, indeed, another position.
Charles Perrin of the Express believes Khedira may lower his wage demands to confirm a move away from Real Madrid.
Even so, the German World Cup winner may find a move which suits Lena Gercke, his model girlfriend, according to Alex Harris of the Daily Star. Fiorentina is touted in the aforementioned report, although it is unlikely the Viola could afford Khedira's services.
John Cross of the Mirror, an authoritative voice when dealing with Arsenal, doesn't see the Gunners making a move for the midfielder, per his discussion on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show, reported by talkSPORT's Ian Cruise:
I don’t think it will be Arsenal. They’ve got so many midfielders there. And you’ve got to look at the package he wants. It’s a huge amount of money, beyond the transfer fee, for a player who has had a lot of problems with injuries and any buying club has got to have a look at that. I don’t think he’ll be heading for Arsenal unless it’s a dramatically good deal.
Defensive reinforcements may be craved by Wenger now Thomas Vermaelen has moved on. Greek centre-back Kostas Manolas is being touted, per Harris, and could offer Arsenal further strengthening alongside Calum Chambers, who has impressed since arriving.
Wenger also wishes to maintain his developing stars and isn't looking to send Joel Campbell away, per Arsenal's Twitter feed:
Campbell has been linked with a loan move to AC Milan, per Giuseppe Muro of the London Evening Standard, but has proven himself to be a useful squad member throughout pre-season. Arsenal need strength in depth across the board to challenge in four competitions throughout the coming year and should be excited to see what Campbell can achieve.
Wenger craves one or two more signings to really underline Arsenal's chances of success. The current squad looks set to impress and will usher in the manager's usual brand of attack-minded, free-flowing football but could use an extra smidgen of grittiness to advance beyond the season's tougher physical challenges.