It's time for some transfer activities with the summer transfer window set to open in a few days' time.
As expected there are plenty of Arsenal rumours all over the place, but nothing is concrete.
As you all know, Arsene Wenger secured the services of Marouane Chamakh last week on a free transfer.
It didn't come in a surprise as there was only one winner. Throughout the season, Chamakh had been linked with Arsenal and it was a mere formality to confirm the deal, which Arsenal did.
Meanwhile, there was a much anticipated move of Fran Merida from Arsenal to Atletico Madrid again on a free transfer, which was confirmed a few days ago. One in and one out.
Arsenal's perennial problem over the course of last season has been defence.
So, Wenger will be considering signing established defenders. The situation will only aggravate when William Gallas, as expected, departs this summer. He will be joined by Philip Senderos and Mikael Silvestre, who both are out of contract as well.
Now you know why Wenger is forced to do something that he doesn't like. Spending is not the word you would associate with Wenger, but here it's a necessity.
Wenger will have to pull out his cheque book more often than what he used to do over the past few years.
One area that needs a massive boost is goalkeeping.
Currently, Arsenal's goalkeeping situation is in a pitiful state. So, as expected, almost every goalkeeper on the planet is linked with Arsenal except Fulham's Mark Schwarzer.
You know what I mean.
Schwarzer might "only" be 37, but he could guard Arsenal's goalpost better than both Almunia and Fabianski, at least until Szeczny, a very highly rated goalkeeper with lots of potential, gains experience to start for Arsenal on a regular basis.
Shwarzer may only be a short-term option but this deal will also save a few extra quids for revamping the central defence.
Not to mention, Arsenal are also linked with England goalkeepers Joe Hart and Robert Green.
England net-minder, Hart, has already grown out of Arsenal's reach, and Green isn't a top quality keeper. Hence, these rumours will only continue as a rumour.
Moving on, Arsenal are also linked with quite a few defenders.
Not a surprise at all when you realize Arsenal's lack of depth and quality in that department.
Bolton's Gary Cahill is reportedly on Arsenal's radar for quite some time now. Although, Owen Coyle has expressed his willingness to sell the talented England defender, it remains to be seen how Cahill can do justice to a £14 million price tag after moving from a bottom half club to one of the best clubs in the world.
Dinamo Kiev defender Pape Diakhate is a realistic option, quite similar to the usual Arsenal type. Diakhate is an unknown defender at international stage, but when someone like Sagna is praising him unconditionally, it appears like he has the potential to succeed at a big club.
He could go on to replace Nemanja Vidic at Manchester United. No, not that much potential. Maybe he could replace Carragher at Liverpool.
That's what most players do after coming to Arsenal. Play well. Earn the applauds. And move on for big wages.
I mean he's a £10 million-rated defender, and considering that he's not a big name in the international circuit, this could tun out to be a risky buy.
Not only that, Arsenal would have to face a stiff battle from some of the top clubs like Marseille, Lyon, Zenit, and add whichever club you like for the sign of Diakhate.
But never mind.
Last year, Arsenal signed Thomas Vermaelen, an unknown defender then, for a similar fee and see it for yourself what he did in his debut season.
He even featured on the PFA team of the year. So, next year Diakhate in PFA team after keeping 38 clean sheets for Arsenal?
Next up is Lorient defender Laurent Koscielny. Rumours has it that Arsenal's bid of £4 million has already been turned down by Lorient. Now it seems like Arsenal will have to pay £7 million.This player may become the first signing of Arsenal this summer.
I mean he's that close to signing for Arsenal. It may come to fruition unless Manchester Arab City turn up with a £25 million mega-bid at the last moment.
There is plenty more. However, this blog is already quite lengthy, so all the left over rumours in the next part.
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