Things are heating up at Emirates, as Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has an eye on a few Chelsea players.
The Sun reports that Wenger has lined up an £8 million move for Chelsea's French midfielder Florent Malouda. No other source has linked the 31-year-old to Arsenal, and the deal seems somewhat curious considering the Gunners have more plausible links to two other Chelsea players. Malouda might be considered a bargain though, and Arsenal are in need of a winger.
Sky Sports reported on Monday that Blues centre back Alex is an Arsenal target. The 29-year-old Brazilian would fill the need of an experienced central defender with Premier League experience. Chelsea value Alex at £10 million, but Wenger is likely to bid much lower than that.
Arsenal are also interested in Yossi Benayoun, according to the BBC. There is no reported valuation for the 31-year-old Israeli. Benayoun moved from Liverpool to Chelsea in July 2010 for £5 million, and has been linked to Tottenham in a potential packaged deal for Luka Modric.
The idea of adding Malouda, Alex, and Benayoun might cause unease for Arsenal fans. The trio has fallen out of favour at Stamford Bridge, and it might reflect poorly on Arsenal to pursue players that a local rival have little interest in retaining. Chelsea recently acquired Juan Mata, a star midfielder who had previous rejected an Arsenal offer.
Meanwhile, Arsenal continue to pursue other players who have no ties to Chelsea. Fenerbahce left back Andre Santos is set to join the Gunners, according to Daily Mail. The 28-year-old Brazilian will arrive at Emirates on a £6.2 million transfer and on a four-year deal worth £40,000 a week.
Left back has been a contentious position this summer. Gael Clichy moved on to Manchester City, while Armand Traore has moved on to Queens Park Rangers, and Kieran Gibbs has struggled to stay healthy, so Santos was a much-needed signing. Santos has Champions League experience as well as 22 appearances for Brazil.
Based on a report in The Telegraph, Arsenal continue to retain an interest in 23-year-old Sochaux midfielder Marvin Martin, who is valued at about £12 million. Martin is highly skilled with excellent field vision, making him a serviceable replacement for Samir Nasri.
Multiple reports have Arsenal linked to Rennes holding midfielder Yann M'Vila. The 21-year-old French star could be an upgrade over Alex Song. The Guardian recently reported that Arsenal had a £15 million offer rejected, and followed it up with a £22 million bid.
Arsenal also reportedly have interest in Everton's Mikel Arteta and Phil Jagielka, though both might be out of Arsenal's price range.
Bolton's Gary Cahill appears to be Arsenal's most coveted centre back. Though there is tension between Arsenal and Bolton, a deal for Cahill might be imminent.