Arsenal Transfer Rumours: 10 Last-Minute Signings Arsene Wenger May Just Make
Arsenal need new signings. Three Premier League encounters since the 2011/2012 season commenced and the Gunners boast a mere point alongside the humiliation of an 8-2 thrashing at the hands of English Premier League champions Manchester United. Granted injuries and suspensions in the opening exchanges of the campaign have decimated Arsene Wenger's squad but there is no denying Arsenal need new signings.
However, there is less than 48 hours remaining in the summer transfer window, ensuring Wenger will have to move very quickly in order to implement the changes the Frenchman has promised since the summer began. Whilst the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United have all maintained their squads and enforced high-quality signings, ultimately progressing on last season's roster, Arsenal have endured a tumultuous summer and have evidently endured demotion in English football standards.
Captain Cesc Fabregas completed his inevitable move to European kings Barcelona for £35 million whilst key playmaker Samir Nasri got his way and departed to Manchester City for £25 million. Veteran left-back Gael Clichy also joined the Citizens for £7 million and Emmanuel Eboue signed with Turkish giants Galatasaray for £4 million.
In response, Wenger managed to secure the services of Ivorian striker Gervinho from OSC Lille for £10.5 million and highly rated Southampton teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for £15 million. The Frenchman was also able to acquire a number of teenage sensations to the reserve roster.
However, the defence still possesses the lingering frailties that haunted the back line last season whilst the midfield lacks quality depth and the forward line still lacks the clinical striker fans have envisioned for some time now. Furthermore, Wenger boasts an £80 million transfer budget.
The Arsenal manager has worked tirelessly to secure high-octane services and there are rumours the Arsenal board is restricting the Frenchman's progress. Wenger has desires to make three more signings before the window terminates but there is so little time remaining it is an exciting watch to see if the under-pressure manager can deliver.
Bleacher Report establishes the 10 last-minute deals that could arise for Arsenal.
10. Wesley Sneijder, Inter Milan
The Dutch midfielder, who is considered one of the best playmakers in world football, has had his future at Inter Milan speculated throughout the summer. The 27-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United before renewing his desire to remain at the San Siro. However, Sneijder's future has been re-opened for debate with Chelsea and the Gunners both eager to secure the former Real Madrid midfielder.
A quick, intelligent and clinical attacker, the Dutchman would be an emphatic but unfortunately unlikely signing for the Gunners. It would greatly mitigate the departure of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri alongside providing the lacking efficiency and creativity currently haunting the Arsenal midfield.
Arsene Wenger possess the funds to tempt Inter Milan and an audacious bid upward of £35 million could emerge moments before the transfer window closes, however Sneijder's high wage demands may restrict the Holland international.
9. Marvin Martin, Sochaux
The Frenchman has emerged as one of the brightest young midfielders in France after consecutive strong seasons for FC Sochaux and the 23-year-old evokes all the abilities and traits to thrive at Arsenal. Arsene Wenger is a huge fan of the midfielder, who has become the tenacious, strong, yet elegant orchestrator of the Sochaux midfield.
The Arsenal manager has expressed a desire to secure the France international and with reinforcements desperately needed in the Arsenal midfield, particularly as Alexandre Song and Emmanuel Frimpong will miss a month of football from January due to commitments in the African Nations Cup, a move may materialize.
Sochaux desire around £14 million for their young midfielder, a fee well within Wenger's grasp.
8. Yossi Benayoun, Chelsea
The 31-year-old has become surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge under new manager Andre Villas-Boas and Chelsea are eager to offload the Israeli midfielder. Benayoun has struggled with injury since joining the Blues in 2010 and has failed to make an impact, but the playmaker—once considered one of the most lethal and creative in the English Premier League–could provide the answer at the Emirates.
It is rumoured the former Liverpool ace is available for under £10 million and despite his age, Benayoun is a quick, intelligent and strong midfielder who possess over 160 appearances in the English Premier League.
With the Gunners requiring an effective midfield presence in the coming hours, Benayoun could soon be in the red and white.
7. Florent Malouda, Chelsea
The Sun has reported that Arsene Wenger is preparing an £8 million bid for Chelsea dynamo Florent Malouda, who also possesses an uncertain future at Stamford Bridge thanks to the recent acquisition of Valencia star Juan Mata. The Frenchman would be a superb signing for Arsenal and would re-inject the lacking efficiency, speed and incisive movement of the Gunners attack.
Malouda has thrived in the Premier League since joining from French giants Lyon in 2007 for £13 million. The 31-year-old possesses over 180 appearances for Chelsea and in the last two campaigns, which included their Premier League and FA Cup double in 2009/2010, Malouda amassed 100 appearances and 29 goals.
Capable of fulfilling a wing or central midfield role, the France international would be a signing fans would enjoy.
6. Mikel Arteta, Everton
Arsene Wenger has long been a keen admirer of the Spanish playmaker, who has become the heart and soul of the Everton attack for a number of seasons now. Many have expressed that Arteta would be a perfect Arsenal signing; the 29-year-old is fast, creative, intelligent, strong and would help mitigate the void left by Cesc Fabregas.
A natural leader and experienced Premier League campaigner with 173 EPL appearances, Arteta has been linked heavily this summer with a move to the Emirates and there is rumour Wenger is preparing a £12 million bid for the former Rangers playmaker. Furthermore, Everton manager David Moyes is keen to secure disgruntled Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner and a straight swap deal between the two clubs could emerge.
5. Clint Dempsey, Fulham
Goal.com have reported that Arsene Wenger has inquired about Fulham dynamo Clint Dempsey, who has long been a respected and efficient presence in the English Premier League. Fulham manager Martin Jol is willing to sell the American provided Arsenal pay £10 million, which emerges as a superb transfer for the Gunners.
Dempsey is a strong, versatile playmaker who possesses great strength and an impressive work rate. Equally quick and balanced, the USA international enjoyed a stellar 2010/2011, amassing 40 appearances and 13 goals for the Cottagers.
With close to 150 appearances in the Premier League, Dempsey would implement lacking leadership, depth and calibre to the Arsenal squad alongside providing Robin van Persie with a potential and much-needed strike partner.
The deal is very close to being completed.
4. Raul Meireles, Liverpool
Liverpool enjoyed a busy summer with the signings of Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing, Jose Enrique, Jordan Henderson and Doni for almost £50 million and it has ensured that the 2010/2011 PFA Fans' Player of the Year, Raul Meireles, has become an unwanted presence at Anfield.
Despite a superb debut season in 2010/2011 of 41 appearances and five goals, the 28-year-old is desiring a move with a number of big-name clubs including Chelsea, eager to secure the Portugal international. A strong, efficient and creative midfielder, Meireles would be a huge signing for the Gunners as the former FC Porto ace could fill the void left by Cesc Fabregas.
Chelsea had a bid of £7 million plus Yossi Benayoun rejected but Arsenal could be able to acquire Raul Meireles for £15 million.
3. Yann M'Vila, Rennes
Touted as the best midfield presence in France despite only boasting 20 years, Yann M'Vila has become a respected figure in Ligue 1, despite only emerging onto the scene last season. A stellar 2010/2011 of 41 appearances and three goals epitomized a rapid rise for the Rennes midfielder, who is currently tempting the biggest sides in Europe.
Wenger has made a £22 million bid for the highly rated midfielder who would provide Arsenal with the necessary tenacity and aggression it is lacking. M'Vila is blessed with an imposing frame that is strong and composed. His incisive passing range, defensive strength and fitness combine to ensure the Frenchman is a tough opponent who can cover all midfield roles.
2. Eden Hazard, OSC Lille
With Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas, two of world football's most creative and devastating attackers no longer in Arsenal's possession, Wenger needs to utilize funds in order to materialize a sterling replacement. One name certainly tops the list:
The Tubize youngster is easily the most chased attacker in world football at this current stage, and it is not difficult to see why some of the biggest clubs in Europe are willing to offer up to £30 million for the Belgian.
One of the quickest, most skilled and balanced wingers in world football, Hazard has amassed over 143 appearances and 28 goals for the French champions alongside 20 caps for Belgium's national side. And he is only 20.
The diminutive dynamo is a revelation in attack and was influential as the Mastiffs secured the Ligue 1 title with 52 appearances, 12 goals and 10 assists. Hazard is capable of playing all along the front line and if necessary the midfield, but is primarily a winger.
1. Riccardo Montolivo, Fiorentina
A tantalizing prospect, Riccardo Montolivo (like Samir Nasri) possesses a contract that expires in 2012 and the Italian is refusing to extend his contract at Fiorentina, ensuring the Italian giants are willing to sell their devastating playmaker.
The 26-year-old would be a superb transfer for the Gunners.
Blessed with an array of flair, creativity, strength and efficiency, the midfielder is regarded as one of the stars of Italy and the Serie A. A destructive presence in the Lilies' midfield, Montolivo is a natural leader who has more than 250 Serie A appearances.
However, if the Italian giants fail to sell this summer, they risk losing Riccardo Montolivo for free on a Bosman next summer.