Arsenal Transfer News: Latest on Edinson Cavani, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, More

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 31, 2014

Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani gestures during a friendly match against Kitchee in Hong Kong Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Kin Cheung/Associated Press

Arsene Wenger is leaving no stone unturned as he goes in search of any last-minute recruits willing to join his cause this summer, with both offensive and defensive targets in his sights.

A centre-forward and centre-back sit high on the Frenchman's priorities, Edinson Cavani and Sokratis Papastathopoulos the names most fervently associated with an Emirates Stadium switch.

Speculation would dictate the north Londoners are still willing to spend big in their efforts to be fully prepared for what the 2014-15 season has to throw at them, and we give the rundown on who might still make their surge into Wenger's ranks.

Edinson Cavani

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 19:  Edinson Cavani of Uruguay looks on before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Uruguay and England at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 19, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Despite losing Olivier Giroud until January thanks to a broken leg, Portuguese newspaper Record (h/t Metro) reports Arsenal may yet allow up-and-comer Joel Campbell to leave the club, staging their own move for Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani.

It's alleged that Campbell will move to Benfica and free up space in the Gunners' attack, leaving Wenger open to make a big-money move on the Uruguayan.

PSG manager Laurent Blanc has fielded Cavani largely on closer to the flanks in order to facilitate Zlatan Ibrahimovic over the past year, but was quoted by Sky Sports this month in saying his forward is happy in the French capital:

Our talk will remain between Edinson and I. Don’t try to know what we talked about. He told you [the media] again he feels happy at Paris and it was not all linked with his position on the pitch and that is an answer I like because in football you have to think collectively.

But it was no surprise from Edinson. Indeed he has a favourite position, but as does any other player. I am only focused on the team being efficient, notably with Edinson and that is clearly possible as we showed last season. He is a player with so many qualities that he can not only play centre-forward. He showed it during last WC again.'s French Ligue 1 writer Robin Bairner insists that PSG will hang onto Cavani this summer, shutting out all hope of the Gunners conducting business:

Giroud being out until January created a significant dilemma for Wenger in whether to go all in for a replacement of similar or superior quality, or hang back and hope his French forward makes a quick recovery.

In any case, the complications to signing Cavani, a player whose arrival would require a massive fee, are myriad.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos

Frank Augstein/Associated Press

At the back, Wenger is upping the ante in his pursuit of Borussia Dortmund's Sokratis, with Arsenal increasing their initial offer for his talents.

According to Greek outlet Sport FM (h/t Metro), the new bid is worth £15.8 million, having registered a £10.9 million offer late last week, and Dortmund is understood to be holding out for £20 million.

BBC Sport quotes Wenger in hinting he will strive to be busy in the transfer market right up until the deadline:

I will be actively involved on the final day of the window and I will be on alert until the last minute of transfer deadline day. Many clubs are on the market and everybody knows each other. The last few days are a poker game. There's a lot of lies there in the few days, everybody is interested in the same player even if you're the only one who wants the player."

Thomas Vermaelen's departure from the Emirates has left a void for Wenger to fill, but Dortmund may be less open to selling their defender after he scored his first Bundesliga goal of the season against Augsburg:

Sokratis' profile isn't as high as that of central defensive partner and 2014 World Cup winner Mats Hummels, but the Greek international tided his team over some difficult injury troubles last term.

His presence would give elite competition to the pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, but the Black and Yellows won't be keen to lose such an important component this late in the window.

Loic Remy

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 16:  Curtis Davies of Hull City slides in to tackle Loic Remy of Queens Park Rangers during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Hull City at Loftus Road on August 16, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo
Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Loic Remy had looked certain to join Chelsea this summer, but it seems the striker could yet move to north London after Arsenal agreed to also meet the player's release clause.

That according to Rob Draper of the Daily Mail, who says the Gunners are looking to bring in the £8 million attacker, Wenger having voiced his admiration of Remy toward the end of last season, per Sky Sports"He is a good striker. But we are focused on the end of the season, not on strikers."

The same might not be said now given the club's current predicament, but ITV presenter Mark Austin says the prospects of joining Chelsea or Arsenal represent two very different paths for Remy:

Fernando Torres' departure to Milan on a two-year loan has left a small gap open at Stamford Bridge, but with Diego Costa and Didier Drogba as competition, playing chances could be slim.

Giroud's injury means that minutes look far more attainable at the Emirates, and Remy has a life-altering decision on his hands in the hours to come.


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