Arsène Wenger has hinted that he could further add to his squad before the end of the transfer window, if Arsenal make it through to the Champions League group stage. Arsenal have already made significant reinforcements this summer with the recruitment of Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina and Calum Chambers. If they can get past Besiktas in a two-legged playoff they can expect to pocket around £20 million, although, with the second leg on Aug. 27, it could again leave Arsenal in the familiar position of a late scramble for signings.
“I’m happy with the players I signed, with their quality and their attitude,” Wenger said ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace, according to the club’s official website. “There hasn't been a massive change but we signed Debuchy, Sanchez, Ospina and Chambers, all of them have integrated well mentally into the team.
“We are not destabilized and I feel it's a strong reinforcement of our squad. Will I still do something? I don't rule it out. Our finances are still healthy but we want to go through in the Champions League group stages to do that. Number-wise we are maybe a little short in some areas of the game but the depth of the squad is very good.”
One man Arsenal may decide to push through a move for if they can confirm the extra money and prestige of Champions League qualification is Sami Khedira. The German World Cup winner was thought to be on the verge of a £24 million move from Real Madrid last month, but the transfer reportedly broke down over Khedira’s wage demands.
Yet his absence from Real Madrid’s squad for the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday has led to further speculation that he could still be on his way, with Arsenal and Chelsea said to hold an interest. The fact that the 27-year-old has entered the final year of his contract with the European champions adds a further layer of intrigue. Khedira could begin negotiating with other clubs in January and it has been reported that Bayern Munich are keen to take him on a free transfer next summer. Madrid would surely prefer to recoup some money for the player now.
Rather than Khedira, there are rumors that Arsenal are instead pursuing a far cheaper alternative. According to the Daily Star, Wenger is considering signing Stephane Mbia, who was recently released from Queens Park Rangers. The 28-year-old former Marseille midfielder spent last season on loan at La Liga side Sevilla, where he helped them win the Europa League.
In more surprising speculation, Arsenal have been linked with a transfer for Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani. The Uruguay striker has been suggested as a target for several Premier League clubs this summer, after voicing his discontent at spending much of his first season at the French champions in a wide berth. Yet given that he cost in excess of £50 million a year ago and would command huge wages, Arsenal appears an unlikely suitor.
Cavani is not the only South American forward mentioned in connection with a transfer to the Gunners. Citing a story in Italy, Talksport reports that Arsenal are battling with Valencia to sign Chile’s Eduardo Vargas. The 24-year-old spent a loan spell at the Spanish side last season. They appear a likelier permanent destination than Arsenal, with Wenger stating that he is more than happy with his attacking options.
“Up front we have plenty of candidates,” he said on Friday. “Joel Campbell has joined us again, plus the new signings, while [Theo] Walcott is coming back at the end of the month. So if you look at the number of players we have up front, we have unbelievable strength.”