As Arsenal gear up for an important two-week stretch in which the club faces Liverpool, AC Milan, and Newcastle, new speculation has arisen about possible arrivals and departures for the 2012-2013 season.
Arsene Wenger will have a very heavy war chest for the summer transfer period. According to ESPN, the sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri helped Arsenal report a pre-tax profit of £49.5 million for the six months to the end of November.
The Gunners made £63 million overall in player sales, while cash reserves are at £115.2 million, up from £110.4 million,
Still, there are questions about whether the club will be active in adding superstar talent in the off-season, after a somewhat lackluster transfer period in the winter.
There should be some major negotiations between Arsenal and Koln, as Lukas Podolski appears closer to a move to Emirates in the summer, according to Daily Mail. The 26-year-old forward had been linked to the Gunners for several months, and Podolski has been pushing for a transfer to the north London club.
However, Arsenal and Koln are far apart on their valuation of the Poland-born star. Daily Mail pointed out that the Bundeslinga club expect £15 million, while Arsenal value Podolski at £8 million. Arsenal may want to avoid a similar fate that the club experienced with Bolton over Gary Cahill, when the two clubs were very far apart on the centre back's price tag. Cahill ended up going to Chelsea in January.
Daily Mail also reported that Arsenal are interested in adding Blackburn defensive midfielder Steven N'Zonzi and Canadian-born Junior Hoilett, whose contract expires in the summer.
N'Zonzi, 23, had six caps for the France Under-21 squad, and has been a solid contributor for Blackburn this season. Hoilett, 21, serves as a winger, and is considered a promising player after loan spells in the Bundesliga.
Veteran defender Walter Samuel is not interested in staying at Inter, and The Sun reported that the big three London clubs will battle it out for the Argentine. Samuel, who turns 34 in less than a month, doesn't seem to be the type of player Arsenal would target, and Chelsea appear to be interested in a youth movement. Tottenham have a collection of defensive players in their late 20s and early 30s, so it may not make sense for Spurs to pursue Samuel.
While there are several players looking to be added to Arsenal, the Gunners may also part with some notable players. Theo Walcott, who is coming off a fantastic performance against Tottenham, was linked to Barcelona by Metro, then to Chelsea by The Sun, and now The Express has tabbed the winger to Spurs. Harry Redknapp reportedly wants to reunite with Walcott after their time in Southampton.
A more plausible candidate to depart from the club is Marouane Chamakh. The Moroccan forward had been linked to Ligue 1 clubs in recent months, but Daily Mirror reported that Fiorentina are also interested in the 28-year-old. Chamakh has shown little confidence with Arsenal this season, and it is probably best for both sides to part ways.
Nicklas Bendtner, who is on loan with Sunderland, has hinted that he would consider following Andrei Arshavin to Russia.
There are a lot of very strong players going to Russia, players who previously wouldn't have done so. I'm on loan at the moment but I'll look at all my options when the time comes, said Bendtner, to Reuters. In football, you can never say never.
While there has been discussion of a more prominent player departing the Gunners, Mike Arteta cast doubt on the departure of the club's famed striker. Arteta believes Robin van Persie is sticking around.
I do not see Van Persie leaving Arsenal, Arteta told COM Radio. He is completely unaffected by interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona and not thinking about his contract renewal either.