Arsenal Transfer News: 4 World Cup Stars Linked In Latest Rumors

 @JasonLeMiere
on July 03 2014 3:49 PM
Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez's goal against Brazil, together with his strong overall World Cup, has only furthered interest in securing his signature. Reuters

Arsenal could throw a spanner in the works of Liverpool’s plan to secure Alexis Sanchez in part of an exchange for Luis Suarez. The currently-banned Uruguay striker, a one-time target for Arsenal, is thought to be close to a move to Barcelona, although the finer points of the transfer have yet to be finalized -- including whether Sanchez forms part of the deal.

According to the Daily Mirror, that is unlikely to happen. Sanchez has also been strongly linked with Arsenal, and the tabloid has now reported that the Chilean forward is keen to move to the Emirates. Indeed, it is claimed that Arsenal have already held talks with Barcelona.

Sanchez enjoyed a hugely impressive World Cup before Chile were eliminated by Brazil in a penalty shootout in the Round of 16. He is coming off a strong season with Barcelona, too, scoring 19 goals in La Liga. As has been the case for all three of his campaigns at the Camp Nou, however, Sanchez failed to become an integral member of the lineup. Still, he remains an elite player, and he would be a huge boost for an Arsenal squad that was desperately lacking in forward options last season. The 25-year-old can play through the middle or out wide.

Sanchez is far from the only player to have made his mark in this summer’s World Cup thought to be on the radar of Arsene Wenger. Another is Mathieu Debuchy. Arsenal have lost Bacary Sagna on a free transfer, and there are increasingly strong reports that the man to replace the right-back will be the player currently keeping him out of the France side in Brazil.

Newcastle United, who signed Debuchy from Lille 18 months ago, have been contacted by Arsenal about a potential transfer, according to Sky Sports sources. France face Germany in the World Cup quarterfinals, with any decision on the 28-year-old's future unlikely until his tournament comes to an end.

It is up front, though, where it is believed Wenger’s priority lies this summer. Jackson Martinez is one of the many strikers to be linked, and the Colombian has expressed a preference for a move to the Emirates. Martinez has scored at a prolific rate since moving to Porto two years ago and got two goals off the bench for Colombia in the World Cup group stage clash with Japan. He has been a regular target for several big European clubs over the past year, but Porto’s asking price of €40 million (£32m) has proved a stumbling block. However, the 27-year-old has indicated that a move is now possible.

“I know that there have been discussions, but still no agreements,” he said, reports the Daily Mirror. “My agent is taking care of my future, right now I'm at the World Cup and only after the World Cup I'll evaluate proposals.

“As a child I cheered for Arsenal, they play a game that suits me. If I had the occasion to play there, I would say yes.”

The Daily Star believes it is Klaas-Jan Huntelaar who features prominently on Arsenal’s radar. The 30-year-old striker scored the winning penalty for the Netherlands in their second round match against Mexico, but is entering the final year of his contract with Bundesliga club Schalke. While believing Arsenal are keen on signing Huntelaar, the Star claims that Liverpool could now be frontrunners.

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