Arsenal attempted to bounce back from Champions League disappointment when beating Newcastle United on Saturday, but even Arsene Wenger accepted that the season is likely to end once again without landing one of the two most coveted pieces of silverware.
While Arsenal are in the semifinals of the FA Cup and looking good for an 18th straight season in the top four, they were surprisingly eliminated from the Champions League by AS Monaco. And despite a fine recent run in the Premier League, Wenger has suggested that, with Chelsea seven points ahead with a game in hand, the title is out of their reach.
“Chelsea has a good security,” he said at his post-match press conference. “At the moment I feel they have enough cushion to be quite serene.
“The only thing we can do, we have Man City in front of us, but if you look behind us it’s tight as well, so we have to win our games. I think Chelsea has too much security.”
It is now 11 years since Arsenal lifted the Premier League, while they have exited the Champions League at the Round of 16 for five consecutive seasons. That stagnation is likely to once again see pressure on Wenger to add quality to his squad in the transfer market this summer. And, after the success of last summer’s big signing, Alexis Sanchez, there are reports that the Gunners are interested in one of the Chilean’s international colleagues.
Charles Aranguiz’s dynamism was a crucial tool for Chile at the 2014 World Cup as they advanced out of group play. His level of performances meant it was a surprise that he was not brought to Europe, having previously been signed by Spanish club Granada but immediately loaned and subsequently signed by Brazilian outfit Internacional. However, the Daily Mirror has reported that the 25-year-old has been scouted by Arsenal since last summer, and they could be set to make their move at the end of the season.
There have also been plenty of rumors about Arsenal’s interest in a number of strikers. While Olivier Giroud scored twice against Newcastle to take his tally in the Premier League this season to 13, the France international wasted a number of chances against Monaco to cast further doubts about his finishing ability at the very highest level.
Arsenal have long been one of the clubs linked with Palermo striker Paulo Dybala, and now, according to Metro, Arsenal officials are set to meet with the Italian club next week to iron out a deal. Such claims appear somewhat premature, with there thought to be a number of clubs interested in the Argentine and Palermo asking for at least 40 million euros (£29.3 million). The 21-year-old has scored 12 goals in Serie A this season and added a further eight assists.
Arsenal have also been frequently mentioned as a suitor for Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani. His future at the French champions has been the subject of much discussion since last summer, having often been forced to play wide in order to accommodate Zlatan Ibrahimovic. However, Talksport has reported on stories from Italy that Serie A leaders Juventus have made an inquiry about signing him this summer.
Arsenal may also face a battle to hold onto one of their leading players. The Sunday Times has reported that Manchester City are considering an approach to sign midfielder Jack Wilshere. The England international has continued to have his progress hampered by injury this season, and hasn’t played since last November after undergoing ankle surgery. However, it would be a major surprise were Arsenal ready to cash in on the 23-year-old. Arsenal do, though, have a history of losing players to big-spending City, having previously seen Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri, Kolo Toure and, just last summer, Bacary Sagna make the move to the Etihad.