Mario Balotelli continues to be linked with a move to Arsenal this summer, with further reports adding that Puma, who sponsor both Arsenal and Balotelli, are willing to help facilitate the move.
The Italian forward has an eye-catching record in front of goal for Milan since his move in January 2013, but the club are looking to raise funds via the player’s sale and Arsenal could look to do business, with Arsene Wenger on the hunt for a world-class striker to round out the attack at the Emirates.
Balotelli’s erratic nature is a concern, but if he can raise his game in Brazil in the way he did during Euro 2012, he may see himself with a large number of suitors come the end of the tournament.
Arsenal are in need of a large number of quality signings this summer, and if Balotelli is to lead the way, these are SIX players who could follow the Italian to north London.
Jackson Martinez has once again emerged as a target for Arsenal this summer, according to the player’s agent. The striker market is looking thin at the moment for Arsenal, who need someone who is capable of scoring 20 league goals at least next season. But Martinez has been linked with a move out of Portugal for much of the past year, with clubs around Europe impressed by the Porto forward’s scoring record. The Portuguese club are notoriously difficult to negotiate with, which makes it difficult to see Wenger moving for the Colombian. But Wenger may well be convinced if the forward has a good World Cup. Based on stats alone – 20 goals in 30 league games last season – he’d be a good buy for the club.
If reports are to be believed, Arsenal have been in talks to sign Carlos Vela all week. The Mexican forward is available to the club for £3.5 million, but it’s been suggested that Wenger will buy back the forward and immediately sell him on at a profit. Vela has all the qualities to be a success at the club at the second time of asking, but he appears to have burnt his bridges with Wenger after a string of indiscretions during his first spell. Vela would be a very good buy for the club this summer, given his price tag, allowing for the club’s budget to be focused on other areas of the team in equal or greater need of address.
It would be enormously risky of Arsene Wenger to sign 19-year-old Calum Chambers and have him battle Carl Jenkinson for a starting position at right-back next season, but it’s not something you’d put past the Arsenal manager. Wenger is reportedly an admirer of the Southampton youngster, who is on Arsenal’s radar as they search for a replacement for Bacary Sagna. The only way this makes sense is if Arsenal land Chambers and another experienced right-back, while loaning out Jenkinson. Chambers has shown a lot of potential this season, and with the paucity of quality at right-back for England, looks set to become a full international in the near future.
Pepe Reina had a good season on loan in Italy, winning the Coppa Italia, and now looks to be on his way permanently out of Liverpool, with the club invested in Simon Mignolet. Reina has lost a lot of support in English football due to the nature of his mistakes over the past few years and the belief that he’s now declining as a player. But as a member of the Spanish World Cup squad, he’d be a valuable asset to have as backup to Wojciech Szczesny at Arsenal. The big problem is his wages, but Wenger is a known fan of the goalkeeper, and adding an experienced figure to the goalkeeping department would be a wise move.
This one is set to drag on deep into the summer, with Real Madrid insisting on £25 million for Alvaro Morata or £15 million plus the option to buy him back in the future, reportedly. Wolfsburg were said to close to a deal, but that appears to have gone quiet, while Juventus and Arsenal have been admirers for much of the off-season so far. Morata would add a good deal of depth to Arsenal’s front line, but isn’t yet the finished article to lead a team to the league title. The sticking point will be Wenger’s obvious reluctance to spend that lavishly on a player who will only be a backup/prospect.
Luiz Gustavo was heavily linked to Arsenal last summer, with the club seemingly intent on adding a specialist in the defensive midfield position. But for one reason or another, Gustavo joined Wolfsburg from Bayern, strengthening a squad that is shaping up to be one of the most impressive in the Bundesliga. The Brazilian was a starter in the World Cup opener on Thursday night, partnering Paulinho and performing well, covering for David Luiz whenever the PSG defender roamed forward. Wolfsburg have no financial need to sell, but further good performances at this World Cup could alert Arsene Wenger, who has made a defensive midfielder one of his top priorities this summer.