Arsenal have been criticised for their inaction so far this summer, but a number of stories seemed to gather pace yesterday.
One that is set to run until deadline day is the news that Arsene Wenger only wants a ‘superstar’ striker, as reported yesterday by The Sun.
Robert Lewandowski and Antoine Griezmann are said to be the two players he covets, and either player would excite a restless Emirates crowd.
Wenger’s reluctance to increase his bid for Alexandre Lacazette was a sign that he does not rate the Lyon striker particularly highly, and that he thought he could better.
A move for either Lewandowski or Griezmann would probably depend on other movements in the market, just as Arsenal’s purchases of Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez relied on Real Madrid and Barcelona buying Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez respectively.
Lewandowski in particular, would be an indisputable upgrade on Olivier Giroud. The Pole has scored 47 goals in 57 Bundesliga starts for Bayern, but talks are said to have stalled on a new contract.
If Bayern are struggling to reach his wage demands it is doubtful if Arsenal will, but The Sun’s report says Wenger is prepared to pay big money once he is convinced the player is, as he would put it, ‘top, top quality’.
Arsenal’s pursuit of Riyad Mahrez seemed to have cooled, but a whole flurry of information emerged yesterday with Arsenal said to have lodged a £35 million bid.
The key story among many in this morning’s L’Equipe penned by one of their most respected reporters, stating that Arsenal have made a £35 million offer for the Leicester man.
That may sound a low first bid, but if Arsenal have been told that the player wants the move, perhaps they are relying on him kicking up a fuss.
Moreover, respected RMC Sport reporter Mohamed Bouhafsi, has said that negotiations are ongoing but that Mahrez is open to a move.
Whether Mahrez has been highlighted as an alternative target should the move for a ‘superstar’ striker fall through remains to be seen – buying both would be hugely audacious move.
The Gunners’ move for Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi also appears to nearing a conclusion, with The Times reporting that a £20 million fee has been agreed.
The 24-year-old German international is a player of requisite calibre to go straight into the Arsenal team alongside Laurent Koscielny and ease their defensive problems.
Arsenal are pressing ahead with the move, with the club hoping to push things through before Friday’s deadline to register the player for their opening game against Liverpool.
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