In a transfer session that has only yielded goalkeeper Petr Cech, Arsenal have reportedly become more active in their attempt to make summer additions. According to reports, Arsene Wenger may have multiple strikers, as well as a defensive midfielder, on his radar.
Multiple reports claim that Arsenal are lining up an £8 million offer for Juventus' Fernando Llorente. However, the 30-year-old Spanish striker is also being pursued by Manchester United, and Metro claims that Louis van Gaal's side are favored to make the signing. Llorente made a name for himself with Athletic Bilbao from 2005-2013, before moving to Serie A. He has scored 23 goals in 65 appearance for Juventus.
A Daily Mirror report added that should Arsenal end their pursuit of Llorente, they will look to Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema and midfielder Isco. While Isco might seem like a stretch to joining the Gunners, Benzema has been linked to an Emirates move for years. There has been increased speculation that he might finally arrive in north London, with a reported asking price of £35.3 million. Arsenal previously paid £42.4 million for Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Ozil.
Arsenal may also be closing in on a defensive midfielder after coming up short in their pursuit of Morgan Schneiderlin. Arsenal are "clear to sign" Sergi Samper, according to Metro. The 20-year-old joined Barcelona at age 6, and only has one appearance for the first team. Francis Coquelin and Mikel Arteta are expected to share defensive midfield duties in 2015-2016. Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo had reported that Wenger approached Samper, who has an £8.4 million release clause, about eventually replacing Arteta.
While Samper might be joining Arsenal, attacking midfielder Aaron Ramsey has been linked to a move to Barca. The 24-year-old Welshman is not expected to leave Arsenal, though he expressed appreciation for playing for the Catalans.
“Obviously it’s very flattering,” Ramsey told The Guardian. “They did the treble last year and it’s just really nice to be linked with one of the best clubs in the world. One day I would like to go over to Spain to play just to see what it’s like and to experience that. But at the moment I’m with Arsenal and I feel like this Arsenal team can go and be successful and challenge for things.”