Arsene Wenger is set to meet with Arsenal’s board, including owner Stan Kroenke, on Thursday, but the manager’s future will not be up for discussion. It is widely believed that the club’s hierarchy will reiterate their full support for the long-standing boss and, according to the Daily Mail, he will also be assured that significant funds will be available to overhaul his squad in the summer.
Even by Arsenal’s recent standards, it has been a traumatic week. A shock FA Cup upset at the hands of Blackburn Rovers was quickly followed by a defeat in the first-leg of their Champions League last-16 tie as they were outclassed by Bayern Munich.
With Arsenal having recently penned a new sponsorship deal and shortly set to set to agree a new kit deal, it has been widely reported in recent days that Wenger will have around £70 million at his disposal in the transfer market.
The Mail has claimed that Borussia Dormund star Mario Gotze is once again on Wenger’s radar. The 20-year-old is rated as one of Europe’s best young midfielders and was linked with a move to Arsenal before he signed a new contract last year to keep him at the club until 2016.
Gotze is a regular for Dortmund and is also already an established part of the Germany squad. With Dortmund having won two consecutive Bundesliga titles and the club going strong in the Champions League this season, Arsenal are likely to struggle both to convince Dortmund to sell and Gotze to move.
Arsenal’s hopes of landing a player of Gotze’s standing will be further diminished if they fail to earn a spot in the Champions League for next season—something which remains a very real possibility at this point.
One of Arsenal’s main priorities this summer is to strengthen their options up front. Both David Villa and Stevan Jovetic have been strongly linked to the Gunners and the Sun has again claimed that Arsenal are also interested in Christian Benteke.
The Aston Villa striker has been a big success in his first Premier League season since his £7 million move from Genk. According to the Sun, Arsenal are set to go head-to-head with rivals Tottenham for the 22-year-old’s signature.
Benteke’s teammate, Gabriel Agbonlahor, believes that the Belgian is too good for both clubs.
“He’s good enough for even higher than them,” the forward said, according to the Sun. “He’s up there with the best. He shows that by the way he plays, he has composure for a big guy and quite a bit of pace too.
“He’s going to get linked with the top clubs, especially because he is young.”
According to another piece in the Daily Mail, Arsenal’s scouts have been kept busy across Europe of late. It is reported that a representative was in France on Sunday to watch Lyon’s Maxime Gonalons in action against Bordeaux in Ligue 1.
Gonalons, 23, is a defensive midfielder and has been a regular in the France set up since Didier Deschamps took charge last year.
The Mail also claims that Arsenal scouts have been continuing to keep a check on highly rated Torino center back Angelo Ogbonna. The 24-year-old is an international for Italy and has also been strongly linked to Manchester United as well as leading clubs in Serie A.