Arsenal Transfer News: Latest Rumours, Summer Targets Eyed by Arsene Wenger

Stuart Newman@@StuNewmanSportFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2016

Real Madrid's midfielder Isco looks on with a bleeding injury to his head during the UEFA Champions League football match Real Madrid CF vs Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on November 3, 2015.    / AFP / JAVIER SORIANO        (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

Arsenal are reportedly in the driving seat to add Real Madrid playmaker Isco to their ranks this summer, but only if they stump up the necessary cash.

That’s according to Spanish outlet Fichajes, which states that La Liga giants are willing to send Isco to the Emirates for a whopping £35 million—via Marc Williams of the Daily Star.

The Gunners have been heavily linked with a move for the Spaniard in many a transfer window, although it seems his stock has dramatically risen since Zinedine Zidane’s appointment at the Bernabeu.

The new Real manager has given Isco something he’s struggled for ever since his move to the Spanish capital: a consistent run in the team.

Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press

In fact, Spanish journalist Pipi Estrada told El Chiringuito that Zidane’s faith has changed Isco’s life, as he would have been "in the streets" if Rafa Benitez was still at the helm—via Chris Davie of Goal:

Isco told a friend of his in Malaga that the arrival of Zidane has changed his life. Isco said that Zidane opened the doors of Euro 2016 for him again. With another [Benitez] he would have been in the streets.

And Isco has certainly rewarded Zidane’s faith with a string of excellent performances in the heart of midfield.

His display in the recent 6-0 demolition of Espanyol at the Bernabeu was exemplary, as he demonstrated exactly why his reported £35 million price tag is nothing to be sneezed at:

It seems very unlikely, then, that Zidane will let his playmaker depart the club anytime soon, although a big-money bid could change his mind—and that’s something Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has a history of stumping up.

The Frenchman knows a worthwhile buy when he sees one—take Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, for example—and Isco could be another player to get him rifling through his pockets.

A star of Isco’s calibre for £35 million is something of a snip in today’s market, and if Wenger is serious about making Arsenal a football superpower again, he needs to be snapping up this kind of deal.

Elsewhere, the Gunners are said to be ready to test the water with a £15 million bid for Liverpool’s want-away striker Daniel Sturridge—per Martin Lipton of the Sun.

The Englishman has spent the best part of 2015/16 on the Anfield treatment table, and Lipton writes that he’s grown tired of fans’ criticism regarding his fitness and commitment.

Manchester United are also said to be interested in the striker, and that could be a blessing in disguise for Arsenal.

Jon Super/Associated Press

Sturridge is a phenomenal talent on his day, sure, but the last thing the Gunners need is another player on their injury list shaking up the team by dotting in and out of it.

Arsenal are approaching a crucial part of the season whereby they can fully underline their credentials to be champions.

Tricky tests against Leicester City and Manchester United are fast approaching, with the simple matter of taking on Barcelona in the Champions League sandwiched in between.