Arsenal Summer 2013 Transfer Targets Episode 1
With just over 10 games still left to play in the Premier League, Arsenal have already lost any chance of winning a trophy for yet another season.
The club’s chances of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals were hit when they lost 3-1 to Bayern Munich in the last 16 on Tuesday. This followed a fifth-round FA Cup exit at the hands of Championship Blackburn.
If Wenger decides to see out his contract (which ends in 2014) then in 2013/14 we can expect a big push for success in what could be his final season at the club.
Through sponsorship and player sales, the Gunners certainly aren’t short of money, therefore Wenger has the funds to bring in a number of big name players come July.
Here’s a look at the players currently on the club’s radar.
Nani – Manchester United
Arsenal are set to renew their interest in want-away Manchester United winger Nani this summer, according to The Independent.
The 26-year-old midfielder has been the subject of intense speculation over the past few months, with constant rumours linking the Portuguese international with a move away from Old Trafford.
Nani has fallen down the first-team pecking order and has become disillusioned with life at Manchester United, and Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted for the first time he is fighting a losing battle trying to convince the former Sporting Lisbon star to sign a new deal.
Angelo Ogbonna – Torino
Angelo Ogbonna has seen his stock rise considerably over the past two seasons. The center back has been an integral part of the Torino squad for the past four years and recently impressed everyone during Italy friendly match with England.
The Torino defender has recently stated his desire to play in the Champions League.
It seems Arsenal have joined the race for his signature and are in pole position to land the Italian international in the summer.
Simon Mignolet – Sunderland
Arsenal are one of a crop of clubs understood to be checking out Mignolet, with champions-elect Manchester United and Liverpool also having cast their eye over Sunderland’s highly-rated goalkeeper this summer.
But it is news of Bould privately talking up the goalkeeper that will most alarm Sunderland supporters, who will be desperate to see Mignolet remain on Wearside for years to come.
The Gunners are ready to jettison the inconsistent Wojciech Szczesny in the summer and have begun to source potential replacements for a position that Arsene Wenger has encountered problems with in the past.
Jose Reina – Liverpool
The pressure on Szczesny has increased as Arsenal continue to be linked with moves for several goalkeepers, most prominently Pepe Reina.
Liverpool’s shot-stopper could be on his way to the Emirates this summer as Arsenal look to strengthen their goalkeeping options.
Stevan Jovetic – Fiorentina
Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic has been linked with a move to the Premier League for a few seasons now.
Arsenal are thinking long-term this summer as they already begin plotting close-season signings. Montenegro international, Jovetic has moved to the top of Arsene Wenger’s transfer list, after the French boss missed out on David Villa at the start of the year.
Jovetic has notched 11 goals in Serie A this season.
Fernando Amorebieta – Atheltic Bilbao
The Gunners have held talks with Athletic Bilbao defender Fernando Amorebieta with a view to bringing the Venezuelan to the Emirates this summer.
The 27-year-old centre-back’s agent Gines Carvajal has indicated that negotiations have already begun, as the Gunners try to beat Russian big-spenders Anzhi to his signature.
According to The Mirror, Bilbao recently withdrew a contract offer and Amorebieta is free to leave in the summer.
Christian Benteke – Aston Villa
As a child, Benteke grew up supporting Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted watching the player before he joined Villa.
Benteke feels a debt of gratitude to Lambert for signing him from Genk for £7.5million at the end of August, but that will be severely tested at the end of the season.
His brilliant start to life in England with Aston Villa will have made the Gunners even more eager to sign him in July.
Etienne Capoue – Toulouse
The Frenchman was on the Gunners’ radar during the January transfer window, but apparently failed with a last-ditch bid for him.
Capoue is believed to be the sort of the player that could add steel to Arsenal’s midfield.
Arsenal dispatched scouts last weekend to watch Capoue in action for Toulouse.
The 24-year-old has a big reputation and appears to be growing in confidence with every game he plays.
Victor Valdes – Barcelona
Wenger is also considering a move for Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes.
Barca have agreed to let the Spain international end his contract a year early this summer, providing they can get £10million for him.
Barcelona-born Valdes, 31, has declared his intention to experience a “different culture” — and said he is eager to play in England.
But the Gunners may baulk at matching his current £120,000-a-week wages at the Nou Camp.
David Villa – Barcelona
Manager Arsene Wenger was reportedly close to agreeing a deal for Villa last month, but was unable to draft in the Spanish international before the deadline passed.
Although Barca have claimed that he is not for sale, they may accept a summer bid for his services to free up funds to aid their own transfer plans.
Wenger is keen to bring in a guaranteed source of goals after watching new signing Olivier Giroud struggle to transfer his form with Ligue 1 side Montpellier to the Emirates Stadium.
Victor Wanyama – Celtic
Wenger’s squad currently lacks a defensively oriented midfielder as a consequence of Alex Song’s switch to La Liga, and it’s a void that remains unfilled to date.
This has left the Arsenal defence, for the majority of the season, unprotected and extremely exposed, leaving the opposition to hit Arsenal on the counter, overwhelming the Gunners’ back line in the process.
Victor Wanyama would put an end to such defensive frailties and, more importantly, is available at the right price. The muscular Kenyan has been in great form for Celtic this season, also showing he has the ability to find the net.
Mario Gotze – Borussia Dortmund
Arsenal have been strongly linked to Borussia Dortmund midfielder, Mario Gotze and they might make a bid for the player during the summer transfer window.
The 20-year-old German international has guided Dortmund to two titles and made over 100 appearances. Recent rumours suggest that the player might leave if the German club does not feature in the top four at the end of the season.
Nathaniel Chalobah – Watford (On loan from Chelsea)
Wenger is reportedly eyeing a shock move for young Chelsea star Nathaniel Chalobah. The 18-year-old is currently enjoying a very successful loan spell with Championship side Watford and the Blues have high hopes for his progress, but Arsenal are plotting a future for Chalobah in north London.
The Gunners are thought to be planning a move for the highly-rated England Under-21 international – who can play across the back four or in midfield – and are believed to be willing to tempt him to the Emirates with an offer of immediate first-team football.
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