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Arsenal Transfer News: Analyzing Latest Talk Involving Gunners and Wayne Rooney

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates the winning goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on December 9, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Arsenal must bolster their attack if they hope to seriously contend with Manchester United next season. Targeting Wayne Rooney, one of the Red Devils' most productive players in recent years, would be one way to help shift the balance of power.

Although the Gunners have always seemed like a long shot in the Rooney sweepstakes, mainly due to his sizable contract, talk continues to persist in linking him to the Emirates. His status with United has remained unclear since the campaign ended.

One person who discussed the situation is Alisher Usmanov, the Russian billionaire who holds nearly 30 percent stake in Arsenal. He told CNBC that Rooney would be an ideal player for the club to chase as it attempts to get back on a trophy-winning level.

"He is a great player, there would be great success for Rooney [if he joined Arsenal], and for Arsenal too," Usmanov told CNBC, speaking from the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

As a major shareholder, Usmanov's opinion obviously carries some weight. With that said, his feelings about Rooney don't change the economic realities of a potential deal. The English international will command a hefty price, especially if a bidding war ensues.

Whether Arsenal can step up and beat out other clubs for Rooney without sacrificing every other potential summer move is the biggest concern. If not, breaking the bank on one veteran player would be a major risk for Arsene Wenger.

John Hartson, who played under Wenger during the manager's early days with Arsenal, believes adding Rooney is worth the potential hazards. Tom Marshall-Bailey of Goal.com passed along comments from the former striker about Rooney and the Gunners.

Arsenal fans are used to players like Rooney. They've had Dennis Bergkamp, Liam Brady, Anders Limpar, they've had great ball players over the years and Rooney would be a magic signing, I'm a big fan of his.

So, for me, I would just break the bank and go and get Rooney if United will let him go.

Breaking the bank is likely what Arsenal would have to do for Rooney to land at the Emirates. Unlike big-spending clubs that are capable of restocking talent every summer, the Gunners cannot afford to take that type of chance and miss.

Wenger and company must be extremely confident that he would not only make a major impact but also put them in trophy contention before moving forward with official interest.

Rooney is coming off a Premier League campaign in which he scored 12 goals and chipped in 10 assists. His goal total, which dropped from 27 the previous season due to the arrival of Robin van Persie, would likely rise while playing a more prominent role with the Gunners.

Whether Arsenal are seriously considering going all-in on Rooney remains up in the air. Usmanov and Hartson both clearly believe he would be a tremendous addition to the club.

It's up to Wenger to decide if chasing the forward is the right move.

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