In the midst of interest from Arsenal, Chelsea and Wolfsburg, Atletico Madrid have stepped in to capture the signing of Mario Mandzukic from Bayern Munich – an outstanding piece of business on their part.
The club were in need of a major addition to replace Diego Costa and Mandzukic will add plenty of quality to Diego Simeone’s side over the coming seasons.
But it is a loss for Arsenal, who would have done well to land the Croatia international. Mandzukic is one of Europe’s best poachers and would have been an upgrade on the frustrating Olivier Giroud.
But even after the signing of Alexis Sanchez, the club will need to recruit another centre-forward, or at the very least another player able to play in one of the three forward positions.
Here’s a look at five options for Arsenal this summer.
Loic Remy appears the most likely forward to join Arsenal this summer, adding to Alexis Sanchez.
Prior to the World Cup, Remy’s transfer to Arsenal looked as good as done, though talk has gone quiet of late. It appears that the French striker is still on the market.
But he’d be a good buy for the club as means of adding quality in depth. He’s able to play wide or through the middle and has a good scoring record in the Premier League. For a fee in the region of £8 million, Arsenal can’t go wrong with an experienced full international.
Jackson Martinez gave a good account of himself in Colombia’s win over Japan in the World Cup. Beyond that, however, the Porto striker failed to build on his two goals.
But there is a lot of quality in the 27-year-old, who has a very good scoring record in Portugal. He has regularly been linked with a move to England, with both Arsenal and Chelsea touted as destinations, and he now appears to be keen on making the switch before the end of this summer’s transfer period.
Martinez looks a natural finisher and would do well ahead the midfield options currently at Arsenal. The stumbling block, though, will be Porto’s asking price. For the right fee, Martinez would be a good signing.
Antoine Griezmann has been recently linked with a surprise move to Chelsea. While the French international is known as a wide forward, he is capable of playing through the middle, regularly ending up in the centre-forward position for Real Sociedad.
Arsenal were said to be in the hunt for Griezmann’s signature prior to the World Cup and they may opt to go in for him again now. He’s surprisingly good in the air and continues to improve on his scoring tally each year.
Signing the Frenchman would leave Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud battling for the centre-forward position, with Griezmann able to occupy either wide position. What is certain is that he’d fit in well at the club, with a talent to become one of Europe’s best forwards.
Ezequiel Lavezzi had a particularly good World Cup with Argentina, and it showed just how important he was to their attack in the final when he was replaced by Sergio Aguero.
But Lavezzi doesn’t appear to have a future at PSG, with the club once again on the lookout for midfield and forward recruits. For the French champions, the time to sell Lavezzi is now.
He’d bring a lot to Arsenal’s game, able to play wide or through the middle. His tricky and pace would add to the quality already signed in Alexis Sanchez, suddenly making the team’s attack considerably stronger than it was last season.
Edinson Cavani’s future remains clouded, with the striker initially saying he wants a move away from PSG, but the club then going on to suggest he won’t be made available this summer.
However, if the opportunity is there, Arsenal should look to enquire after his services. He’s struggled over the past year to hit his best form on a consistent basis, but he hasn’t been helped by playing wide for both club and country.
Cavani does have a very good scoring history, though, and last season he managed 16 goals in the league alone. There’s no doubt he’d add a lot to Arsenal’s attack, being a far more clinical finisher than Olivier Giroud.
Arsenal would be a great place for the Uruguayan to reignite his best form.