Inside Football: The Future of Arsenal's Front Line and Van Dijk's Replacement

Dean Jones@DeanJonesBRFootball Insider at Bleacher ReportJune 15, 2017

Inside Football: The Future of Arsenal's Front Line and Van Dijk's Replacement

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    There's concern once again for Arsenal fans, as Alexis Sanchez has still not signed a new deal and fellow frontman Olivier Giroud has been linked with West Ham United by Tom Hopkinson of the Daily Mirror.

    If the Gunners are to close the gap from last term and return to the Premier League's top four, they need to ensure they have a front line ready to make the difference.

    While Sanchez could be on his way, it seems Giroud is less likely to head for the exit.

    Inside Football delves further into the issue this week, also revealing how Southampton plan to push on next season. There is also transfer news from Everton, Huddersfield Town and Brighton & Hove Albion.

Alexis Off but Giroud to Stay?

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    Manchester City will wait to see how Sanchez's situation opens up this summer amid a growing belief that he wants a move to the Etihad Stadium.

    While Mesut Ozil is likely to remain at Arsenal on a new contract, Sanchez has not been showing the same intention.

    His ambition is likely to lead to a move before the start of the new season, and he could yet sign for another Premier League club despite Arsenal's stance that staying in England will not be an option.

    City are not pushing their case, but history has shown Arsenal sell players if the man in question makes his intentions clear—with Robin van Persie, who moved to Manchester United in 2012, the best test case.

    The Gunners' financial situation is different now, but Sanchez has one year of his contract remaining, which complicates the situation for Arsenal.

    They know he will have his choice of clubs in a year's time on a free transfer if a new deal cannot be agreed.

    Arsenal would much prefer to see the Chilean move to Bayern Munich or Juventus, but Chelsea could also be in the hunt if the saga drags on.

    Meanwhile, West Ham do have an interest in Olivier Giroud, as they have done for the past couple of seasons, but he is unlikely to become available.

    Despite his frustrations about his lack of game time, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger views him as an important part of his squad and would struggle to find an adequate replacement.

    It could be that fellow Arsenal forward Lucas Perez emerges as a more realistic target for the Hammers, and he is available.

Gibson Lined Up by Southampton

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    Southampton are looking toward Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson as a long-term solution to keep their defence secure.

    There are doubts over Virgil Van Dijk's future, as his situation is likely to remain unclear until later in the window, while Claude Puel lost his job as manager on Wednesday, as the club announced.

    Saints have set Thomas Tuchel as their No. 1 choice to become the next boss and hope to appoint their new manager as early as possible. But club officials already have an idea of how they want the transfer market to open up.

    Gibson, who has just been relegated with Boro, is seen as a realistic target who would even be worth pursuing if Van Dijk does stay at Southampton.

    New Middlesbrough manager Garry Monk intends to convince Gibson to stay with the Championship side but knows there is a chance he could leave. Leicester City have also shown interest but are signing Harry Maguire from Hull City.

Everton Look to Add Klaassen

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    Davy Klaassen looks increasingly likely to join Everton from Ajax.

    Sources have indicated that discussions between the parties have gone well and that Klaassen's medical could go ahead at the weekend.

    Manager Ronald Koeman is convinced of the 24-year-old Klaassen's quality in midfield and feels he would adapt quickly to English football.

    The transfer would lead to Ross Barkley's availability for a move before the new campaign.

    Indications are the Toffees are willing to let him leave after a frustrating few years at Goodison Park. Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United have been marked as early contenders to sign him.

Huddersfield Plan Ambitious Offer

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    Premier League new boys Huddersfield Town are looking into the possibility of signing Manchester City's Patrick Roberts on loan.

    City sent him on loan to Celtic last season, and the Scottish club has expressed interest in bringing him back for a second stint.

    However, the chance to see Roberts test himself in the Premier League will appeal to staff at the Etihad Stadium.

    Roberts, 20, is being managed carefully, but there is a belief he can develop into an England star.

    Huddersfield are in severe need of extra quality if they are to make an impact during their first Premier League campaign, and they hope the player will be tempted to join them in time for pre-season.

Brighton Confident over Gomez Deal

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    Liverpool defender Joe Gomez is edging closer to joining Brighton & Hove Albion.

    Albion are aware the Reds have been planning to include the defender during pre-season, but the Seagulls need to know where they stand quickly.

    Brighton boss Chris Hughton wants a settled squad as soon as possible to boost his side's chances of making an early mark in the top flight, and they begin the season with a home fixture against Manchester City.

    Gomez knows he would be given plenty of first-team opportunities with the Seagulls.

    Meanwhile, goalkeeper David Stockdale left Brighton to join Birmingham City because of reservations about whether he would be first-choice 'keeper at the Amex Stadium next season. The Blues also offered him a better contract.


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