Rumour time is almost over for Arsenal with the start of the Premier League season starting on Saturday against Newcastle, and the the transfer period ending on August 31st.
Barcelona is set to put a five-year deal in place for Cesc Fabregas very soon, with Arsenal receiving a transfer fee likely between £30-35 million.
The details about Samir Nasir are less specific. All that's known about the situation is that Manchester City is heavily involved in trying to add Nasri, and the assumed fee is between £22-25 million. With Arsenal and Nasri unable to agree upon a contract extension, it seems implausible that the midfielder will continue his career with the Gunners.
Both Nasri and Fabregas will sit out the upcoming match, prompting questions about how soon both will be leave Emirates. In an awkward press conference where Wenger wanted to talk about the upcoming match with Newcastle, reporters kept pressing transfer speculation and Wenger made a concentrated effort to deflect such inquiries.
"Arsene, do you expect Cesc and Samir to leave the club by the weekend," asked a reporter
"I expect nobody to leave the club," replied Wenger
"So you believe they will stay at the club -- those two players?" inquired the same reporter.
"That's a good conclusion from my statement," said Wenger, followed by a coy smile.
Wenger's guarded persona aside, the chances of either Fabregas or Nasri sticking around seem extremely slim at this point. A deal could fall through for Nasri, but there will be plenty of other suitors if Manchester City and Arsenal can't agree on on fee.
Arsenal now have to make a determined effort to find replacements. Arsenal will have to find two creative midfielders, and still need to find a defender.
Many publications have reported that Arsenal were targeting Scott Dann. Considering the Gunners could use a centre back, and Birmingham has been relegated, a deal for Dann seemed logical. However, a proposed deal for Dann to Arsenal is news to Birmingham.
Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, and Metro have all reported that Dann has been linked to Arsenal in the past month. Liverpool also remain interested.
"He [Dann] is one of the centre-backs we look at," Wenger told Arsenal's official Web site.
As for the hole in midfield, Juan Mata remains the most prominent name in Arsenal transfer speculation. The Valencia star seems like a reasonable replacement for Nasri. Mata, 23, plays more on the left side, and shares similar or better creative skills skills to Nasri.
As for replacing Fabregas, the Independent reported that Arsenal are strongly linked to Brazilian Jadson of Shakhtar Donetsk for £12 million. The 27-year-old attacking midfielder is coming off a rather forgettable Copa America tournament, but has shined with his Ukranian club. No other club has shown real interest in Jadson other than Arsenal.
"If everything goes to plan, I'll have some news for everyone at the start of next week," Jadson said on Thursday. "Hope it works out."
If either Mata or Jadson falls through, expect Arsenal to consider Eden Hazard of Lille, Mario Gotze of Borussia Dortmund, Douglas Costa of Shakhtar, and Alan Dzagoev of CSKA Moscow, Mathieu Valbuena of Marseille, and Adel Taarabt of Queens Park Rangers, to go along with several other candidates.
Meanwhile, Arsenal may have more to spend this August if reports are accurate that Nicklas Bendtner is on his way out. The Danish forward is valued at about £9 million and Stoke, Hamburg, and Aston Villa are just a few clubs that are interested.
Emmanuel Eboue is also on the verge of leaving for Turkish club Galatasaray, in a £4 million deal. "I should be presented to Galatasaray by Thursday," said Eboue.
That combined £13 million will come in handy when Arsenal makes a play for a centre back.
Time is of the essence. Arsenal is gambling with their season if they don't find elite players in this transfer period.