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Gervinho Close to Signing, Willian to Follow, Samba Next?

The Arsenal transfer rumour mill is hotting up, and about time.

Lille have confirmed that Arsenal are in talks with Ivory Coast striker cum attacking midfielder Gervinho.  The player appears to have indicated that Arsenal are his preference, it now remains to be seen if we offer him a derisory £30K a week or a decent contract.  If Lille have agreed for Gervinho to talk to Arsenal this must mean that a transfer fee has been agreed between the two clubs.  Harry Redknapp has been mentioned in despatches as having a bid for Gervinho rejected by Lille.

Willian the Shaktar Donetsk and Brazil midfielder is linked to Arsenal with TalkSPORT stating that we have offer cash plus Denilson and have given Shaktar a deadline of Saturday to accept Arsenal’s offer.  Willian is a winger who joined Shaktar for $19M in 2007 and his current contract runs out next year.  He is 22 years old, but has yet to represent Brazil, so unless he has an EU passport, I cannot see how we will get a work permit for Willian.

Chirs Samba transfer has gone quiet after we were led to believe that he would be our first transfer.  Is Wenger having cold feet over the transfer of the Congo colossus?  We offered £8M in January, but that was turned down, it would not surprise me if we offered £8M again.  The Blackburn Rover manager has said that he would stand in the way of Samba moving on to play Champions League football.  Oh, forgot to mention that Tottenham are sniffing around Samba too!

A couple of reports Young Ones and The Sun are reporting that Arsenal are looking at Swedish left-back Alexanxder Milosevic. Milosevic plays for AIK Stockholm and is 19 years old.  The fee being mooted around is £3.5M.  Wenger could see Milosevic providing Gibbs with competition for the left-back slot as Arsenal are preparing to wave good-byer to Clichy.

Two players that we have been linked with us but things have gone quiet are Gary Cahill and Ricky Alvarez.

Gary Cahill has a £17M buy-out clause, but Arsenal are not prepared to pay that sort of money for a player with one year left on his contract.  If Wenger can do a deal for around £12M plus one or two loan players, then he should make it happen.  Cahill is better value than £20M for Phil Jones.  Cahill is an England international and a move to Arsenal will see him as a permanent fixture in the England team.  Cahill is the English centre-half that we have been longing for since the departure of Sol Campbell. It will be interesting if Wenger buys both Samba and Cahill, this will signify a vote of no confidence in Djourou and Koscielny as Samba and Cahill will move ahead of them in the pecking order.

Once the season had ended it was widely reported that Ricardo Alvarez the Velez Sarsfield midfielder had agreed to join Arsenal on a free transfer. It now appears that Arsenal are due to open talks with Velez over the transfer of the 23 year left footed midfielder and no deal has been agreed.  Wenger has been widely reported as due to go to South America, and I would expect him to conclude this signing whilst in Argentina.

Our transfer links so far have not included any ball-winning midfielder.  We have apparently ruled ourselves out of the Scott Parker deal, at £7M for a 31 year old that is not surprising.  With Arsenal chasing several attacking midfielders, I hope Wenger does not neglect the central midfield.

One thing is for sure, unless Wenger  has gone mad, we will not be signing all of the above mentioned players, what I would like to see is Benzema added to our squad this season.