Arsenal have faced huge criticism for their activity, or lack of it, in this summer’s transfer window, but Arsenal Wenger still has big ambitions to put things right in the final 10 days before the deadline. Indeed, various reports have the Gunners spending anything between £80 million and £100 million before 11 p.m. BST on September 2.
And it appears Arsenal are hoping that a large chunk of that will be heading in the direction of Real Madrid. Wenger has been chasing a top-class striker throughout the summer and, after missing out on Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez, the attention is now firmly on Karim Benzema. The Guardian reports that an inquiry has already been lodged with Madrid for the France international with Arsenal suggesting that they are weighing up a £46 million bid.
On the face of it, having sold Gonzalo Higuain to Napoli, Benzema would appear hard to pry from the Bernabeu. Not only would the 25-year-old’s departure put a heavy reliance on promising 20-year-old Alvaro Morata, but club president Florentino Perez personally signed Benzema from Lyon in 2009 and still wants to give the player the chance to flourish in the Spanish capital.
Yet, that same opinion is not shared by many of Madrid’s fans, who jeered him during Sunday’s La Liga opener against Real Betis. He has not been a unanimous success at the club. Still, Madrid are unlikely to allow Benzema to leave unless a replacement can be procured and, ironically, it is Luis Suarez who could hold the key to Arsenal’s attempts to sign Benzema.
Madrid-based publication AS has a very different take on the matter. The sports daily reports that Benzema is happy at the club and has no intention of leaving. What’s more, it is claimed that both player and club are eager to renew his contract.
Arsenal are also looking to Madrid for Angel Di Maria. With Gareth Bale set to arrive, it is hard to envisage the Argentinian winger getting regular action this season, especially as Di Maria was only a substitute in the opening match of the campaign. Equally, though, if Di Maria were made available, Arsenal could well face strong competition for his signature.
An injury to Mikel Arteta has also heightened Wenger’s desire to reinforce his midfield. Former Gunner Mathieu Flamini looks likely to be signed up on a free transfer, while an improved bid is expected to be made for Yohan Cabaye.
Arsenal’s initial £10 million offer was angrily rejected by Newcastle, but the Daily Mirror believes that a £16 million bid will soon be put forward. Newcastle are thought to be after closer to £20 million for the 27-year-old France international, while Paris Saint-Germain also hold an interest.
Wenger remains keen to bring in a goalkeeper, with Valencia’s Vicente Guaita now top of the agenda . However, much like Cabaye, Arsenal’s opening offer appears to have angered the prospective selling club. According to Marca, after Guaita was left on the substitute’s bench for Valencia’s opening league match of the season, the club agreed that it would be best to let him go if he was not going to be in the side. Contact was made by Arsenal officials, but Valencia considered their offer of between €4 million (£3.4m) and €5 million (£4.5m) so low that it left them in a state of shock. Now, Valencia’s stance has shifted.
“We have no intention of selling him,” president Amaedo Salvo said, reports Marca. “The sales that we have made have solved the financial shortfall. If he wants to leave, he will have to say as much -- say that he does not want to stay,"