Before Aaron Ramsey provided the heroics, Arsenal struggled mightily in the Premier League opener against a Crystal Palace squad that didn’t have a manager stalking the sidelines. Arsene Wenger’s side still pulled out the 2-1 victory behind Ramsey’s stunner during injury time, but the match evidently gave Wenger the opportunity to pick apart his squad's weaknesses. Two weeks remain before the transfer window shuts, and the Gunners are eyeing several top midfielders and at least one forward to bolster the attack.
Wenger’s pursuit of Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira has been well documented, but should Los Blancos decide to keep the German World Cup champion despite his contract ending at the end of the term, then Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin might be the next best option, the Sunday Mirror reports.
The 24-year-old French international would welcome a switch following the slew of exits out of St. Mary’s, including Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw. Other than the Gunners, Tottenham are also chasing Schneiderlin, but with Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Areta aging, Arsenal might be able offer more playing time. As Southampton’s highest rated player, Arsenal will have to shell out as much as £20 million for Schneiderlin. Although that would be almost half of Khedira’s estimate value of £35 million.
The 27-year-old defensive midfielder faces a crowded pitch at the Bernabeu following the addition of Toni Kroos, but Daily Star reports that manager Carlo Ancelotti has no plans to sell Khedira.
With Schneiderlin and Khedira possibly unattainable, Arsenal will have a much easier time landing Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot. Express reported Saturday that PSG have allowed Rabiot to “hold talks” with the Emirates. Wenger reportedly spoke directly with the 19-year-old, and PSG are asking for a reasonable £5.5 million.
Chelsea and Juventus are also intrigued by Rabiot, who’s totaled 44 appearances and three goals over two years between PSG and his loan spell with Toulouse.
In terms of bolstering the attack, Alexis Sanchez was supposed to be the answer. But now Arsenal are thinking of linking their star forward with fellow Chilean Eduardo Vargas. Daily Star reports the Gunners will have to fight off Valencia for the 24-year-old Napoli forward. Vargas contributed a goal for Chile’s victory over Spain in the World Cup, and during his two loans the last two years he’s totaled 16 goals.
Despite all the speculation, Wenger was coy about any further transfer aspirations before the Crystal Palace match.
"I'm happy with the players I signed - with their quality and attitude,” Wenger said. "We've not had a massive change, but we signed Debuchy, Chambers and Sanchez and all of the three integrated well mentally in the team.
“We are not destabilised, and I feel that it’s a strong reinforcement of the squad.
"Will I still do something, I don’t rule it out."