Arsenal top executive Ivan Gazidis has joined manager Arsene Wenger in the club’s pursuit of a splash move as the clock winds down on the summer transfer session.
Thus far, the Gunners have failed to couple the signing of Matheiu Flamini and the free transfer of Yaya Sanogo with a top flight striker, but several opportunities have opened up with the Sept. 2 deadline looming and in the wake of injuries to Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
With plenty to spend and supporters panicking, the Emirates side can right their ship with a deal for Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler, according to the Daily Mirror. Gazidis reportedly visited Schalke's ground hoping to seal the deal for the 19-year-old German, who has quickly tallied 13 goals and 78 appearances in two short years in Bundesliga. Draxler could supplant the spot that seemed assured for Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye, as the Gunners reportedly pulled out of the bidding for the Frenchman after the price surged past £12 million.
But that cost is a pittance for the £60 million Schalke is demanding for Draxler, who signed a new two-year contract at the conclusion of last season.
Rather than taking the chance on a younger player who has never played outside of Germany, Arsenal could instead turn to the rising list of players itching to leave Spain, and make a play for Real Madrid attacking midfielder Kaka. The 31-year-old Brazilian joins Angel Di Maria, Karim Benzema, and Mesut Ozil as top-flight talent worried about their playing time with the impending arrival of Tottenham’s Gareth Bale to the Bernabeu.
Despite a total of 85 appearances and 23 goals for Madrid, Kaka saw his time on the pitch slowly dwindle each year under Jose Mourinho, and while he doesn’t appear out of favor with new boss Carlo Ancelotti, he would continue to struggle should the Bale deal finally be consummated. Kaka also won’t cost Arsenal much, with his market value hovering around £9 million.
Arsenal have also added former Chelsea winger and current Lille staple Salomon Kalou to their diminishing list of options. According to the Daily Mail, the Gunners know Kalou could alleviate some of the damage done by Podolski and Oxlade-Chamberlain’s knocks, but he’ll cost £2.6 million and £60,000 per-week in wages.
The Mail stated Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion, and Cardiff City have also reached out for the 28-year-old, but they have been rebuffed. Kalou joined Lille last year and made 28 appearances and scored 14 goals, and has 57 caps and 21 goals for the Ivory Coast since 2007.