With reports popping up all over the worldwide web that Arsenal have all but secured the signature of Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle, Arsene Wenger’s anticipated summer transfer splurge looks to be under way.
With top names having left the club in recent seasons there is certainly money to be spent at the Emirates Stadium, and after watching his side slip from a commanding position in the title race to scrapping for fourth last season, the Frenchman could well be ready to once again delve into the market as he did to get Mesut Ozil year.
Gossip columns have been set alight with rumours of top stars on the Gunners’ radar, and here are six we think may be in line to follow Debuchy to north London…
The World Cup always throws a top name into the realms of transfer gossip, and 2014’s player of choice seems to be Sanchez. The Chilean attacker was a star for his nation as they dipped out of the competition on penalties to hosts Brazil, with his all-action displays widely seen as the catalyst to a number of excellent results.
Despite his fine showings, Barca are rumoured to be willing to cut the 25-year-old loose for around £20m-£25m, which has placed him firmly on Wenger’s radar. Manchester City and Liverpool are also keen, but reports have suggested that Sanchez would choose the Emirates Stadium ahead of other English options.
As the stats show, he had quite a 2013/14 campaign…
Porto have a habit of nurturing South American strikers, with the latest man to have emerged as one of European football’s leading lights being Martinez. The powerful forward joined the Portuguese giants in 2012 from Chiapas in Mexico, and has since averaged better than a goal every other game – more than filling the void left by Radamel Falcao.
Wenger is known to be on the lookout for a top class goal-getter after relying heavily on Olivier Giroud last season, with Colombian ace a genuine option. Furthermore, the big man has also said that he would like to be an Arsenal player: “As a child I cheered for Arsenal, they play a game that suits me. If I had the occasion to play there, I would say yes.”
Over to you, Arsene…
Even though he was one of Real Madrid’s top performers last season, di Maria could well be on his way out of the Bernabeu in the coming weeks. Colombian duo Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez look set to become the latest ‘Galacticos’ this summer, and with their fees likely to be close to £100m, star names will have to be shifted… even with Los Blancos’ budget.
The Argentine has long been linked with the Gunners, and with Wenger’s well-known admiration for tricky attacking midfielders this deal could make sense. Di Maria is set to command a fee in the region of £30m-£40m, but the Londoners are thought to have the cash ready.
With operation Southampton exodus in full swing, the next name on his way out of St Mary’s Stadium looks likely to be Lovren. The classy Croatian centre-back is understood to have requested a transfer prior to jetting off to the World Cup, which will leave the Saints in a difficult position should offers of around £15m – which Liverpool are said to be preparing – come in.
Thomas Vermaelen’s imminent switch to Manchester United is thought to be hinging on Wenger’s ability to get in a replacement, with the 24-year-old likely to be an upgrade on the out of form Belgian.
The most in-demand footballing freebie on the planet as it stands looks to be Mexican goalkeeper Ochoa. Despite being relegated with Ajaccio to Ligue 2 last term, the curly-haired stopper has made his way onto the radars of Europe’s elite with his frankly superb performances at the World Cup.
Ochoa helped to drag his nation out of Group A with a wonderful showing against hosts Brazil, and was in excellent form once again despite last 16 elimination at the hands of the Netherlands.
Ochoa’s agent is thought to be touting his client around to big sides, with Arsenal rumoured to be interested. Now that FA Cup Final hero Lukasz Fabianski has gone, Wojciech Szczesny is short of cover, which makes the 28-year-old even more appealing to Wenger.
While one Real Sociedad star in the shape of Carlos Vela looks to have evaded Arsenal’s grasp, they could yet snap up another. Griezmann has been strongly linked with the Gunners in recent times after emerging as one of the best players in La Liga outside of the Madrid and Barcelona top three.
The classy winger has transferred his terrific league form to the international stage in recent months, with some excellent displays in World Cup warm-up games and a few promising cameos during the competition proper in Brazil.
Sociedad are considered to be resigned to losing their man, and could well accept offers in the region of £20m.