Arsenal have rocketed to second place on the Premier League table and earned a second straight berth in the FA Cup final due in large part to an incredible attack that’s netted 63 goals this term, the third highest total on the domestic front.
But Gunners supporters could see even more offensive firepower from Arsene Wenger’s side next term. The summer transfer period opens soon, and Arsenal's management have shown a stronger willingness to spend.
Seeking another forward to join the attack with Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal are continuing their pursuit of Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, according to Talk Sport.
The French-born Argentinean international had been on Wenger’s radar since he was starring for Real Madrid two years ago, and talks reportedly ramped up last summer, but a deal never came to fruition. Instead, Wenger landed central midfielder Mesut Ozil, while another Real Madrid target, Angel di Maria, ended up with Manchester United.
A move to acquire Higuain seems much more likely this summer with his Serie A side sitting in fourth place on the table, five points back of Champions League qualification. Napoli made the play-off round in this year’s tournament, but fell to Athletic Bilbao. Arsenal haven’t missed Europe’s top competition since 1998.
The Gunners are in excellent position to not only provide Higuain with his desire to play in Europe’s top competition. Higuain could also prove to be a major weapon after playing around some of the most talented players in the world at Real Madrid and with Argentina. A trio of Sanchez, Giroud, Higuain, all capable of mix and matching roles, could challenge for the Premier League title next season.
Under contract until 2018 and responsible for 30 total goals in 61 appearances since moving to San Paolo’s grounds, Higuain’s market value is currently £28.6 million, much lower than what Wenger shelled for Sanchez last summer, and that signing proved to be a clever swoop by Wenger.
The report stresses rivals Manchester United, possibly requiring replacements for Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie, are also in play for Higuain, as are reigning three-time and likely four-time Serie A titleholders Juventus.
Assuming Wenger prevails in his chase for Higuain, the French manager figures he can also bolster Arsenal’s back line with Espanyol center back Hector Moreno. Metro reports Arsenal have scouted the 27-year-old Mexican for the last year and a half, and are willing to bid as much as £14.3 million for his services. It appears Espanyol won’t fight to keep Moreno as the 10th-place La Liga squad could use the extra funds.
Moreno also favors a transfer to Emirates, as opposed to other interested parties like Tottenham or Sevilla.
The price is actually quite high, especially given the fact that Moreno is only signed through next season and Arsenal are not in serious need of a central defender. But the Gunners might consider adding a younger center back with Per Mertesacker, 30, and Laurent Koscielny, 29, another year older. Gabriel, 24, was added in the January transfer window, and has played six matches, but Wenger may have an eye on converting one of the players into more of a central midfielder role.