Arsenal Transfer News: Casillas, Pogba, Gourcuff And Grenier Discussed As Wenger Suggests More World-Class Signings Will Join Ozil At The Emirates

on October 17 2013 6:09 PM
Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger has seen the benefits of adding a world-class talent to his squad this season. Reuters

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has suggested that there will be more world-class signings coming into the club following Mesut Ozil’s arrival this summer. The arrival of Ozil on a club-record deal has helped spark Arsenal to a fine start to the season that sees them topping the Premier League as well as their tough Champions League group. The transfer came at the end of a summer in which Arsenal’s hierarchy had boasted about the club’s new financial strength, which allowed them to again compete with Europe’s big spenders. And, speaking at Arsenal’s Annual General Meeting, Wenger explained that signing players of Ozil’s quality and reputation now formed part of the club’s strategy.

“I still believe our policy has to be based on three different levels and we want to continue that with success,” he said, according to Arsenal.com. "The first level is, of course, to continue to defend our style of play, our philosophy of play and our values. That can only be done by developing our own players, and the core of our team has to come from the development inside our club.

“The second level of the development of our club has to be based on the intelligence of our eye,” he added. “That means players who are unknown and who can become big players here, through our connections, the quality of our scouting, through the quality of what we have seen in them and how they could develop.

"Then, the third part of our development and ambition is to scout and buy recognized world-class players. This season for example we have bought Ozil. You don't need any scout to buy Ozil. You just need money!”

One of the players that would fit into the latter category is Paul Pogba. The Juventus midfielder was reportedly the subject of interest this summer before Wenger decided to solve his deficiency in midfield by re-signing Mathieu Flamini. Wenger, though, may well have been interested in the recent comments from Juventus president Andrea Agnelli admitting that his club would be powerless to fight off a huge offer from a major European club. That figure is reported to be around the £40 million mark, with Chelsea also linked with a move. The former Manchester United youngster subsequently played down talk of a transfer.

“I don’t know anything about PSG,” he told Le Parisien. “As I’ve said, I’m happy with Juve. I’m not concerned that Juve have spoken about selling me. When I’m with the France national team, I only think about doing well with my country. When I get back to Turin, I’ll talk about Juve.”

With Wojciech Szczesny having made a fine start to the season, it remains to be seen if Arsenal’s plans still include recruiting a top-level goalkeeper. If they do then Wenger will doubtless have been alerted by comments from reported target Iker Casillas, reveling that he will reevaluate his Real Madrid future in January if he fails to win back his place in the team.

“If a player isn’t in the action he starts thinking about taking a decision,” he said at an even on Thursday, according to Spanish publication AS. “Of course I want to stay here and win more titles with Real Madrid. I’ve been here since I was little, but there will come a day in which I have to take a decision. If in three months things haven’t changed and you ask me the same question, well maybe I’ll be thinking about leaving.”

Over the summer, Arsenal were linked to Lyon attacking-midfield dup Clement Grenier and Yoann Gourcuff. It is thought that Lyon rejected an Arsenal approach for Gourcuff, while they would be prepared to listen to offers for Gourcuff. That would seem to have been backed up by the latest words from Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas. Stating that the club’s financial position have improved, Aulas mentions Grenier and Maxime Gonalons as players he would not want to sell, but said nothing of 27-year-old France international Gourcuff.

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