While potential new signings continue to be discussed, the next transfer activity at Arsenal could involve the exit of forward Lukas Podolski. According to widespread reports on Monday, Juventus are set to open talks with the Gunners over securing the services of the 29-year-old, who arrived just two years ago for a fee of £10 million. In part through injury, Podolski was limited to just 16 Premier League starts last season and is set to have his opportunities further limited this campaign following the arrival of Alexis Sánchez. While his fellow German World Cup winners Mesut Özil and Per Mertesacker made their returns to action against Everton on Saturday, Podolski was not even named among the substitutes.
Podolski’s record of 19 goals in 53 Premier League appearances, for a player who spent most of his time operating on the left, is certainly respectable. Yet, with the player on wages of around £100,000 a week and reportedly keen to move to secure more regular first-team action, Arsenal are believed to be open to cashing in. His wages could prove a stumbling block to any move away, however. According to multiple sources, Juventus would prefer to take Podolski on an initial season-long loan.
If Podolski were to leave, it could well encourage Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger to step up his attempts to add to his squad before next Monday’s closing of the transfer deadline. One player it now looks certain they won’t be signing, though, is Sami Khedira. The midfielder has been linked to the Gunners throughout the summer, with a fee reported to have been agreed at one stage with Real Madrid before the player’s personal terms halted the completion of a deal. News that Khedira had turned down the opportunity to extend a contract with Madrid that expires next summer had fuelled talk that the transfer could be back on. But, after naming him in his squad for Madrid’s opening La Liga match of the season, manager Carlo Ancelotti has insisted he is now staying put.
“The issue with Khedira has also been resolved. He's staying and we're happy that's the case,” he said, according to BBC Sport.
Instead Wenger may be returning his attention to a midfielder he targeted last summer. The Daily Mirror reports that Wenger sent scouts to watch Wolfsburg’s Luiz Gustavo in action during their 2-1 defeat to Bayern Munich on the opening day of the Bundesliga season last Friday. The Brazil international joined Wolfsburg from Bayern Munich last summer, despite interest from Arsenal. Wolfsburg’s reported interest in signing Podolski may help any attempts by Arsenal to secure Gustavo.
Another option to add some steel to Arsenal’s midfield is William Carvalho, with the Daily Telegraph reporting that the Gunners will make a bid for the Sporting Lisbon 22-year-old this week. A member of Portugal’s World Cup squad this summer, Carvalho is highly rated and was interesting Manchester United before David Moyes’s departure. A move to Arsenal remains complicated, with Sporting having shown determination to have his €45 million (£36m) release clause met in order to sanction his departure.
Meanwhile, reports continue to suggest that Wenger is looking to bolster his options at center-back with the capture of Olympiakos’ Greece international Kostas Manolas. However, the transfer could now be complicated by the interest of Roma. The Italian side are said to be eyeing the player as a replacement for Mehdi Benatia, who has been linked with Bayern Munich, although Manloas’a agent says there has been no contact with them.
“Talk of Manolas in Italy has been circulating for months now but the truth is that at the we have heard nothing from Roma,” Giannis Evangelopuolos told TuttoMercatoWeb. “I can confirm that there has been contacts with big clubs but at present I can’t rule out him staying at Olympiakos.”