Arsenal Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Lucas Perez and Kieran Gibbs

James DudkoFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2017

Arsenal's Spanish forward Lucas Perez (L) celebrates with his teammate Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil (2ndR) and Arsenal's English defender Kieran Gibbs after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions league Group A football match between FC Basel 1893 and Arsenal FC on December 6, 2016 at the St Jakob Park stadium in Basel. / AFP / Patrick HERTZOG        (Photo credit should read PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images)
PATRICK HERTZOG/Getty Images

Arsenal have reportedly received offers from seven different clubs for striker Lucas Perez, with Premier League duo Everton and Newcastle United among those mentioned as interested in the Spanish attacker.

Perez is expected to leave the Gunners before the end of this summer's transfer window as part of a necessary squad clear-out led by manager Arsene Wenger, while left-back Kieran Gibbs has emerged as a target for Galatasaray.

The Turkish giants are also part of the clutch of clubs credited with an interest in Perez, according to Mark Mann-Bryans of PA Sport:

Perez has barely featured for Arsenal since arriving from Deportivo La Coruna last summer. He has made just 11 appearances, including a mere two starts in the Premier League last season, per WhoScored.com.

Despite some moments of quality, the 28-year-old failed to convince Wenger of his worth. The Arsenal boss appears content to move on from the forward, despite his pace and ability to play anywhere across the forward line.

Even so, Wenger and the Gunners want to fetch a decent fee for Perez, something of a sticking point in negotiations with the player's former club, per Mann-Bryans:

Depor still remain favourites to sign Perez, though. In fact, manager Pepe Mel recently revealed how club president Tino Fernandez is confident of making the deal happen, per James Benge of the London Evening Standard: "Tino Fernandez has told me that Lucas Perez will be here next week, and he is very stubborn. I have no choice but to believe him."

Arsenal are well-stocked enough in the forward areas to sanction the sale of Perez, despite drawing a blank in their last league match, a 1-0 defeat to Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday.

Yet Wenger can still call on Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott and classy target man Olivier Giroud. Summer signing Alexandre Lacazette has already impressed, while the Arsenal boss said star man Alexis Sanchez could return from injury this week, per Mark Critchley of The Independent.

The Gunners have enough firepower to justify letting Perez go if the right offer is made.

Arsenal have enough strikers ahead of Perez.
Arsenal have enough strikers ahead of Perez.James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

There is also room to let Gibbs go after Wenger signed wing-back Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer this summer. The Bosnian has joined Nacho Monreal to give Arsenal ample defensive cover on the left.

Shifting Gibbs won't be easy, even though he's free to leave, with Galatasaray showing interest, according to Paul Hirst of The Times: "Galatasaray are hoping they can persuade Arsenal to sell the full-back to them in a cut-price deal worth around £4 million."

Hirst noted how the Gunners want around £10 million for the 27-year-old defender. Significantly, the reporter also pointed out how a move to Watford collapsed because Gibbs wouldn't lower his £80,000-per-week wages.

Kolasinac's arrival has pushed Gibbs further down the pecking order.
Kolasinac's arrival has pushed Gibbs further down the pecking order.Frank Augstein/Associated Press

Such an issue is the biggest challenge facing Wenger as he attempts to streamline his squad this summer.

The Frenchman has already declared Arsenal must sell before buying, per Stephen Turner of Sky Sports: "It's not manageable and many clubs are in this situation—that's why the transfer market is quiet. We have 33 players at the moment and that's too many."

It's a tricky situation since the Gunners still look short of the quality they need to challenge for this season's title. Yet, much will depend on whether fringe players such as Gibbs are determined to play regularly enough to lower their demands and help Wenger free up the space he needs to add fresh talent.