As the Austrian training camp draws to a close, Arsene and his staff have a better understanding of where the squad needs to be strengthened in particular now the Adebayor has left and Toure is virtually a Man City player too, whilst Eboue and Senderos are also looking at Arsenal exits.
If Arsene sold the remaining four players he would have £55 million to spend, but before people go mad, he will not spend that sort of money.
A centre back is a top priority and Hangeland of Fulham is the prime candidate. He has already rejected a new contract at Fulham, and an offer in the region of £12million would be hard for Fulham to turn away. Vermaelen is a quality player who likes to play the ball out of defence, whilst Hangeland is a fully blooded typical English centre back, the type of player we need.
The striker situation has cleared up slightly with both Chamakh and Huntelaar available. The Dutch striker turned down a move to VfB Stuttgart in the hope of securing a transfer to the Premier League. Tottenham have bought Crouch and have released Bent to Sunderland, unless they can sell Pavlychenko, and nobody is prepared to pay £13million for him, then they are no longer in the market for Hunterlaar. This leaves the usual suspects, Liverpool (could be used by Real as part of the Alonso transfer), but where will Benitez, I only play with one striker, play him or Manchester United whose financial problems have meant that Fergie has had to hand over the Ronaldo transfer fee to the Glazers to help them pay off their debts.
Arsenal’s other target is Marouane Chamakh, who claims he has agreed terms with Sunderland, Fulham and Blackburn. Sunderland have bought Bent and Campbell, so I would be surprised if they looked at further striking options, Fulham are unable to sell Zamora, so will only go for Chamakh if they sell Hangeland to Arsenal and Blackburn, well who cares about them.
One paper has us looking at Cattermole of Wigan. I do not see this personally and if we were to buy a central midfielder I would prefer Mohamadou Diarra from Real Madrid, he has experience and will not cost a fortune.
Next week should be a busy week for Arsene. He will be back in England and will be able to assess the situation further once the Emirates Cup has ended. Next week will see the arrival of players at Arsenal that will give us that adrenalin burst that we need to hit the floor running in our quest for the Premier League.
Several website are reporting that Arsenal’s pursuit of Marouane Chamakh to replace Adebayor has run into trouble. The stumbling block and this does not make sense is that Bordeaux want Silvestre as part of the deal.
What is strange is that it was widely reported that the Moroccan striker had a £7million buyout clause. That therefore is an open and shut case, you offer £7million and the player is yours. End of story.
If Bordeaux want Silvestre as part of the deal, then where is the problem? Arsenal currently have Gallas, Toure, Djourou, Senderos, Vermaelen and Song, all of whom can play as centre-backs. Eboue provides cover at right-back, whilst Gibbs has proved to be a capable deputy for Clichy. In his first season at Arsenal Silvestre did not cover himself in glory. In fact we conceded more goals with Silvestre in the team, than when he was absent. He was the weak link in our team.
I cannot see why Wenger will change his mind on landing Chamakh for the sake of keeping Silvestre.
The Daily Mail website is claiming that we will look at Huntelaar, valued at £17million if the Chamakh deal falls through. Huntelaar may be a better striker, or at least have a better reputation than Chamakh, but is Wenger really going to spend £10million more on a player just to keep a poor squad player like Silvestre?
I suspect the Huntelaar thing is something generated by the press to create a bit of intrigue in an otherwise quiet Arsenal market. Wenger has gone on record to state that he will move for Chamakh if Adebayor leaves, so I expect the Moroccan to be an Arsenal player next week.
After Adebayor’s statements yesterday where he claimed that Arsenal winning trophies is more important than him scoring goals, has been greeted today by reports that Arsenal are prepared to sell Adebayor.
What does not make sense is that Barcelona are still interested in him despite having had a poor season and the price quoted is £20m. Guardiola is not a complete idiot, he will never offer £20m for Adebayor especially after they spent £13m on Hleb who has not settled in at the Nou Camp. We have a record of selling Barcelona our players at inflated prices, only for their careers to go backwards once they arrive in the Catalan capital.
Clearly if any team offered Arsenal anywhere near £20m, Wenger and Gazidis will bite their hand off, especially if Bendtner comes out of cloud cuckoo land and starts to perform on the pitch.
The papers have gone mad in linking us with Huntelaar. He only joined Real Madrid in January for £17m, but already the stories doing the rounds is that he will leave in the summer. Joining Real Madrid is like a lottery, you never know who will be in charge when you arrive or how many managers the club will go through by the end of the season.
Will Wenger go for Huntelaar? If he sells Adebayor in the summer, he might decide that he needs another striker, but is Huntelaar the man. A great scoring record in the Eerdivisie does not ensure instant Premiership success, look at Kezman, Samaras, and Kuyt, none set the Premier League alight with the scoring records. Wenger will know the moment he picks up the phone to Real, they will start asking about Cesc, van Persie and the last thing we need is for whole Real Madrid circus to dominate our summer transfer dealings.
Knowing Wenger, he will look at his current squad, allow Adebayor to leave for a good price and play either Nasri or Arshavin in a more advance role. Alternatively, he will pluck a young striker like Gomis from St. Etienne.
Whilst selling Adebayor is a no brainer this summer, Huntelaar arriving to replace him is non-starter.
All the smart money is on Adebayor leaving for either AC Milan in player plus lots of cash swap, or to Barcelona.
The question on everyone’s mind is who will Arsene Wenger replace the mercurial Togolese striker with, who will be the next player thrust into the Arsenal frontline.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar – Valued at £18M by Ajax, he has recently refused to sign a new contract and with Ajaz having failed to qualify for the Champion League, the Dutch team will be all too ready to cash in on their major asset. That he can score goals is in no doubt, but the Eeridivisie is not the strongest in Europe and a prolific scorer there does nto mean he will do the business in the Premier League.
Bafetimbi Gomis – Valued at £15M by st Ettiene. Has recently signed a new contract with Les Vertes, but this was more to ensure that hey receive a decent trasnfer fee. He is one of the up and coming strikers in French football. He is a little young, 22 years old, but that makes him ideal Wenger material. Was at Euro 2008, probably an outside bet, but one that Wenger will not regret in the long run.
Mario Gomez – had a disappointing Euro 2008 tournament and did not do himself justice. Gomez plays for Vfb Stuttgart and is valued at £12M. Had a great season for Die Roten scoring 19 league goals in 25 appearances. Wenger must question his ability to perform on the big stage.
Roque Santa Cruz – great first season on the Premier League with Blackburn, and now a target of Manchester United as well as Arsenal. It will requires a bid of £15m to secure his services. He is 27 years old, but not as mobile as Arsene’s traditional strikers.
Obafemi Martins – a long term target of Wenger. At 23 his young,strong and athletic. He has stated his desire to join Arsenal and £15m will secure his services from Newcastle United.