Arsenal Transfer News: Arsene Wenger's Key Summer Targets as Deadline Nears

Stuart NewmanFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2014

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 07:  Edinson Cavani of PSG reacts to a missed chance on goal during the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and Stade Rennais FC at Parc des Princes on May 7, 2014 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The 2014/15 English football season has barely got going, but, even so, Arsenal are already looking a formidable force.

Intelligent spending in the transfer window combined with strong performances in the Community Shield and their opening Premier League clash means that optimism at the Emirates is at an understandable high.

However, for the Gunners to be considered serious title contenders this year, they need to invest in one or two more players; and here, we take a look at the candidates to complete Arsene Wenger’s world-class puzzle.


Kostas Manolas

ATHENS,GREECE - JANUARY 18:  Kostas Manolas of Olympiacos dribbles past Pedro Sass Petrazzi of Levadiakos with the ball during the Greek Superleague match between Olympiacos and  Levadiakos at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium on January 18, 2014 in Athens
EuroFootball/Getty Images

Despite landing both Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers earlier in the summer, a defensive addition at the Emirates looks a necessity with just a few weeks of the transfer window remaining.

Former captain Thomas Vermaelen’s departure for Barcelona adds to that equation, and it seems that Wenger is turning his attention to Greece to find his replacement.

ATHENS,GREECE - JANUARY 12:  Kostas Manolas of Olympiacos during the Greek Superleague match between Atromitos Athinon and Olympiacos at the Peristeri Stadium on January 12, 2014 in Athens,Greece.  (Photo by Aris Messins/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
EuroFootball/Getty Images

Versatile Olympiakos defender Kostas Manolas is reportedly on the Frenchman’s radar, having recently asked the Greek champions about their star’s availability—per Kevin Palmer of ESPN.

Though some Arsenal fans won’t know a great deal about the 23-year-old, anyone that watched and praised Greece’s stubborn defensive line in the World Cup was paying Manolas a great compliment.

Andrew Medichini/Associated Press

The youngster’s strength, awareness and talent on the ball make him the full package in terms of a defender, and it seems he’ll be somewhat of a bargain buy if Arsenal land him.

Olympiakos’ sporting adviser Christian Karembeu has confirmed Premier League interest in Manolas, and said that he’s available for as little as £8 million—per Jamie Sanderson of Metro:

“In the last few days, interesting proposals have arrived from England. We are not willing to negotiate his sale for less than £8million. If we receive the right offer, we are willing to sell him.”

TORONTO, ON - JULY 24: Giampaolo Pazzini #11 of AC Milan chases the ball against Kostas Manolas #24 of Olympiacos FC during International Champions Cup 2014 action at BMO Field July 24, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

Clearly such a generous asking price has got Wenger and Co. interested in securing a deal for the Greek, as’s Wayne Veysey revealed that the Gunners want to wrap up the transfer as quickly as possible:

While Chambers performed well in his league debut for the club against Crystal Palace, the ease in which he steps into defensive midfield means that signing another centre-back is logical.

Looking at the price tag and the class of Manolas, the deal makes even more sense, and for Arsenal’s sake, let’s hope Wenger dips into his pocket once again very soon.


Edinson Cavani

Christophe Ena/Associated Press

Paris Saint-Germain star Edinson Cavani has been linked with a whole host of clubs around Europe this summer, but Arsenal’s interest has really been grabbing headlines of late.

The Uruguayan has been forced into a life of playing on the wing for PSG, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic remaining the club’s main man up front, leading to reports of his apparent unhappiness in France.

With that in mind, rumours of the Gunners making a £51 million bid for the star surfaced—per Tom Sheen of The Independent—and will have got fans’ pulses racing despite how unlikely such a story is.

Christophe Ena/Associated Press

However, they now have even more cause for optimism (and possible delusion).

The Ligue 1 champions are desperate to bring in Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria before the window closes, but to do that, they need to offload a similarly high-profile, expensive player.

Cavani fits that mould, and as RTL revealed, via Metro, PSG are closing in on bringing the Argentinian to the French capital.

It means that Arsenal are one step closer to getting their man, and it seems that he really is needed at the Emirates.

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 07:  Edinson Cavani of PSG reacts to a missed chance on goal during the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and Stade Rennais FC at Parc des Princes on May 7, 2014 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Yaya Sanogo and Olivier Giroud proved in the Gunners’ narrow 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday that Arsenal will struggle without a new, exciting out-and-out striker in their ranks, as their contributions simply weren’t up to scratch.

Cavani appears the perfect fit, but with a price tag so hefty and equally outrageous wage demands to contend with, it’s hard to see the 27-year-old in red anytime soon.

It all depends on the Di Maria saga, of course, but even that’s far from concrete—meaning that Wenger is better off shopping around than making such an astounding purchase.