With eight days remaining until the close of the transfer window, Arsenal are still without a marquee signing beyond goalkeeper Petr Cech. Forward Danny Welbeck and midfielders Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky are sidelined with injuries, yet Arsenal have shown little urgency in bolstering the attack, let alone adding depth to the defensive midfielder position.
There have been few encouraging signs that help is on the way. Arsene Wenger has been mum on the possibility that Arsenal have a new player in their sights. "At the moment, we are not close," Wenger said on Friday.
The Daily Star, among other outlets, remain insistent that a blockbuster deal for Real Madrid's Karim Benzema is imminent. The Star reported Sunday that Arsenal have a £50-million bid in place for the 27-year-old striker. On Saturday, Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli posted on Twitter that Benzema will join Arsenal.
While such a generous offer would often sway Madrid president Florentino Perez, a worthy replacement for Benzema does not appear to be available and therefore may impede such a deal from happening. Real Madrid have not been linked to a superstar forward all summer aside from Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, who almost certainly is staying put. New manager Rafael Benitez could rearrange the attack to have Cristiano Ronaldo play the No. 9, but that doesn't appear likely. On Saturday, Benitez backed Benzema and confirmed that Real Madrid are not searching for a new striker.
While Benzema's possible arrival at the Emirates remains suspect, it seems more plausible than the other options that have circulated in recent days. On Friday, Spanish website Fichajes.net was so bold as to suggest that Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani is pushing for a move to Arsenal and is seeking a medical. The Uruguay forward joined PSG in the summer of 2013 for a reported fee of 64.5 million euros (£46.8 million), and reportedly earns £160,000 a week. The chances of Arsenal making a high-priced move for Cavani seems slim, with PSG seeking to bolster their Champions League hopes after the addition of winger Angel di Maria.
Cavani's teammate, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, also seems like a long shot to join Arsenal, despite a recent report. The 33-year-old is one of the highest paid footballers in the world, and Wenger rarely pursues players who are past their prime. Should Ibrahimovic move on from Paris, he seems more likely to return to AC Milan to finish his career than London.
All of this leaves Wenger still searching for options at a time when Arsenal's rivals appear vulnerable. A Premier League title appears more attainable given Manchester United's chemistry issues, and Chelsea's defensive woes. The defending champions, who entered the season as favorites, have conceded seven goals in three matches, and only narrowly achieved their first win of the season with a 3-2 result at West Bromwich on Sunday.
It might be an opportunity wasted if Arsenal don't make a serious push to address their perceived weaknesses by the transfer deadline.