The transfer window is approaching its close. In a matter of days it will slam shut, and clubs will be forced to persist with their existing squads.
Unsurprisingly, the window’s final days bring a flurry of articles linking players with moves. As the finale approaches, those stories can become somewhat surprising. Clubs search far and wide for missing ingredients, and newspapers reach for increasingly incongruous names.
Lavezzi has reportedly reached a standstill in contract talks with his current club, Paris Saint-Germain, and could now be forced to leave the club. Bruce Archer of the Daily Star reports:
The Argentina winger, 29, who joined the Ligue 1 club in 2012 from Napoli after five years in Serie A looks set to leave as the French champions begin a cull to balance the books.
Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool have all shown interest this summer and would be able to afford that fee.
It’s something of a surprise to hear that the French club could be prepared to let Lavezzi leave. Lavezzi was a key player last season, starting 24 games in PSG’s league campaign.
Arsenal, in some respects, would be a natural fit for Lavezzi. He would fit neatly in to their fluid, attacking style of play.
Arsenal’s game is based around mobility in the final third, with plenty of off-the-ball runners. That’s one of the areas where Lavezzi excels, as he is expert at finding space between the centre-back and the full-back.
However, it’s difficult to find this report particularly credible. Lavezzi’s natural position is an inside-forward on the right-hand side, and Arsenal are incredibly well-stocked in those positions. Currently, the role is occupied by £35 million signing Alexis Sanchez. Within a matter of weeks, he will be joined by the fit-again Theo Walcott.
Arsene Wenger can also call upon Joel Campbell, who has returned from a loan spell with Olympiacos. While in Greece, Campbell played predominantly on the right, from where he can cut in on to his stronger left foot.
The list of options doesn't end there. There’s also Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and even Santi Cazorla who can fulfil that role. Lavezzi is a good player who would undoubtedly improve most squads. However, Arsenal don’t really need him.
Perhaps if Campbell was moved on, room could be found for the Argentine in the squad. However, Lavezzi is already 29 and would command a significant salary on top of the mooted £20 million fee. It would be something of a shock if Arsene Wenger jettisoned a young talent to outlay a big chunk of cash on a veteran forward.
At present, Chelsea and Liverpool seem like more probable destinations for Lavezzi. The recruits Arsenal really need are at the back, not up top.
James McNicholas is Bleacher Report’s lead Arsenal correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2014/15 season. Follow him on Twitter here.