Reports coming out of France are that Arsenal have agreed a fee for Nice goalkeeper David Ospina, who had a very good World Cup with Colombia this summer.
If the signing gets confirmed, it will represent another excellent piece of business by the club, who have already gone a long way to proving they mean business this summer. The signings of Alexis Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy have set the club on the right track to bridging the gap between fourth and first next season.
But Ospina is also a positive for the club’s goalkeeping department, which has to see anyone seriously challenge Wojciech Szczesny for the permanent spot as the team’s No.1. Ospina, being 25, will hold plenty of ambition and won’t settle for a place on the bench.
With the Colombian very close to signing, here are six players who could follow him to Arsenal…
Talk of a Mario Balotelli transfer to Arsenal is heating up once again, with AC Milan desperate to sell the Italian, now for a knockdown fee of circa £16 million.
There may not be too much need for Arsenal to sign another forward who would command a place in the starting XI every week, but there is also something tempting about landing a striker like Balotelli for such a low fee.
If Wenger can get the best out of the Italian international, he could become one of the leading forwards in Europe and go a long way to bringing the Premier League title back to north London.
Antoine Griezmann played well whenever offered an opportunity for France at the World Cup, often rotating with Olivier Giroud for a place on the left of the team’s attack.
But following another good season with Real Sociedad, now appears to be the time for the Frenchman to move on from the Basque club.
What has struck many is the forward’s ability in the air, despite being of stature that wouldn’t suggest he’d be comfortable with aerial duels. His scoring record in Spain last season, 16 goals, would make him a fine addition to the Arsenal team next term.
His versatility would allow for plenty of options in the team’s attack, especially with players like Alexis already in the squad.
Morgan Schneiderlin looks to be the frontrunner to address Arsenal’s defensive midfield need after the club opted out of the race to sign Sami Khedira.
If reports are to be believed, Southampton are holding out for a fee of £20 million. For a 24-year-old full international who knows the Premier League well, Schneiderlin would easily justify that fee.
The Frenchman’s strength and quality on the ball would make him an obvious fit in the Arsenal team. His age, too, would make him an attractive signing, with so many of the current squad’s key players 25 or under.
Lars Bender will see his name linked regularly with Arsenal now that the club have reportedly closed off the avenue to Sami Khedira.
Bender, who would have been at the World Cup with Germany, is nursing an injury but should be fit for the start of the season.
Many fans believe Bender to be the better option for Arsenal over Khedira, who is far more inclined to leave his defensive post.
Bayer Leverkusen clearly have no interest in selling, but considering their financial strength, Arsenal should be able to convince the German club this summer.
Despite a strong showing at the World Cup, Ezequiel Lavezzi is set to be sold by PSG in order to raise funds for further signings.
The Argentine plays most of his football on the flanks for both PSG and his national side, but his versatility to play through the middle would be a big help at Arsenal, especially with Theo Walcott set to miss the start of the season.
Lavezzi didn’t have the best of campaigns last term, but his performances with Argentina of late have enhanced his stock. For both the selling club and buying club, there is no better time than now to deal Lavezzi.
Daley Blind was a strong candidate to fill in at left-back at Manchester United, but following the club’s signing of Luke Shaw, they’re unlikely to require the services of the Dutchman.
Arsene Wenger, however, sounded out Blind for praise following Holland’s win over Spain during the World. Able to play at holding midfield, Blind would address that area of the pitch for Arsenal, who are in the market for another midfielder.
Ajax more than likely expect another club to come in for the 24-year-old following his performances at the World Cup, while there may be few available who are better suited to playing in Arsenal’s team than Blind.