Arsene Wenger is looking to beat Chelsea to the signature of Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk as he eyes a permanent switch to a back-three. The Mirror report that Arsenal have made enquiries about the Dutchman as they look to improve their defensive options.
Antonio Conte is also interested in taking the defender to Stamford Bridge and the Blues had been in pole position to complete a deal. However, the Gunners have been tracking the 25-year-old since he was at Celtic and have now entered the race.
This would be an excellent signing and a coup for the club, as there are several other teams in the running. He is arguably the best centre-back in the league on his day and he will easily make the transition to a higher level.
The Dutch international has everything in his locker. He is an excellent reader of the game, dominant in the air and very good at distributing the ball.
Van Dijk is perfect for a formation with a three-man defence as he is comfortable at bringing the ball out into the midfield and possesses an impressive passing range. If Arsenal manage to win the race to sign him, it would be a great deal for the club.
Meanwhile, Lucas Perez has been linked with a move away from the club since joining last summer and TalkSPORT report that he could be set for a move back to Deportivo on loan.
The Spaniard has struggled to hold down a regular place in the first team, despite some impressive performances in an Arsenal shirt. He had a superb final season with Deportivo, scoring 19 goals and contributing a further 11 assists. It isn’t surprising that the Spanish club are keen to bring him back.
Arsenal supporters won’t be worried about the possibility of losing Perez. He came in for a big fee and has done little to show that he is good enough to be a regular for the club.
It was a signing that came out of nowhere and despite some important goals, he probably isn’t at the level required to play for a club with the ambition that the Gunners have. There will be a huge rebuild at the Emirates Stadium this summer and the Spanish striker is one of many that will be on their way out of the club.
Finally, after learning that he would be out for the rest of the season with a fractured leg, the Mirror report that Jack Wilshere has been told that Bournemouth aren’t interested in making his loan move permanent.
The midfielder failed to score and only contributed two assists during his time with the Cherries. He didn’t do enough to convince the club to break their wage structure to sign him permanently.
The England international will now return to Arsenal to receive treatment for his latest injury. His long-term future is uncertain and it will be interesting to see if any other clubs register an interest over the coming weeks.
This summer is going to be the most important one Arsenal have had for some time, as they attempt to build a winning team once more. Wilshere may be an academy graduate, but his injury record and patchy form mean that he will pose a problem for the club this summer.
They will need to get him fit and may even need to reintegrate him into the squad if no club comes in to buy the midfielder. He is on big wages and Arsenal can’t afford to have him doing nothing next season. They will either need to sell him or bring him back into the fold.
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