Arsenal could be focusing plenty of attention on Barcelona in their efforts to strengthen their squad this summer, according to reports. With the FA Cup final still to come against Hull City next weekend. Arsenal’s Premier League season came to a conclusion on Sunday with a fourth-place finish that provided a place in the Champions League for the 17th successive season but left feelings of regret having topped the table longer than any other team. While Arsene Wenger has urged caution about Arsenal’s summer activity, the club is known to have significant funds at their disposal and Wenger has suggested that he will be looking for a couple of key additions.
One of the areas it is believed that he is looking to strengthen is the defensive midfield position. And it could be that Wenger turns to someone he knows well. For the past year, Arsenal have been linked with a move to bring Alex Song back to the Emirates Stadium. The Cameroonian left to join Barcelona for £16 million in 2012, but has endured a difficult time with the Catalan giants and failed to hold down a regular place in the starting lineup.
The Daily Mirror now reports that Song will be sold this summer, with Barcelona open to accepting an offer worth as little as half what they paid for him just two years ago. The story, however, names Manchester United and Liverpool as interested parties. Should Song be available, it will surely at least cross Wenger’s mind about whether to bring him back. Yet, whether Song, who provided the physicality but often not the positional-discipline to occupy the holding role during his time with Arsenal, is the player they need is doubtful.
The Daily Star, meanwhile, has claimed that Song’s current midfield colleague Xavi will also be on the market this summer. The tabloid asserts that Manchester City have already been sounded out by agents about a potential move, however with the newly crowned champions reluctant to commit to Xavi’s lavish wages, Arsenal and Manchester United could both enter the equation. The 34-year-old’s exquisite passing would certainly fit in with Wenger’s philosophy, yet that type of deep-lying playmaker is not exactly a priority for Arsenal right now. It also seems hugely unlikely that Arsenal will be prepared to pay huge wages to a player of Xavi’s advanced years and whose physical attributes are on the decline.
A third possible target at Barcelona is ventured by the Mirror, who suggest that Wenger is keen to land Alexis Sanchez. According to the story, the Arsenal manager has been made aware that the Chilean winger will leave the Camp Nou this summer for a fee of £20 million. Sanchez has hit 20 goals for Barcelona this season but, despite scoring a memorable winner against Real Madrid last October, has often found himself on the bench for the club’s big games. It is widely believed in Italy, however, that Juventus are firm frontrunners to secure the 25-year-old’s signature.
Juventus are also thought to be in the running for another Arsenal transfer target. Italian source Tuttosport reports that the two clubs are among those interested in Manchester United youngster Will Keane. The 21-year-old midfielder, currently on loan at Queens Park Rangers, will be out of contract at Old Trafford in the summer. Paul Pogba, who left United for Juventus in similar circumstances two years ago, is believed to have recommended Keane to those in power at the Italian champions.