After an opening day defeat and an injury crisis intensifying the spotlight on an already thin squad, a sense of understandable panic appears to be setting into Arsenal as the close of the transfer window draws near. The Gunners’ £10 million bid for Yohan Cabaye was immediately rejected by Newcastle, but an improved offer is expected. The fact that the midfielder subsequently sat out his club’s first match of the season at Manchester City on Monday will further encourage Arsenal that a deal is feasible.
However, The Guardian is among the publications to confirm the belief that Newcastle are seeking close to £20 million for the France international. There has appeared an almost sense of inevitability for much of the summer that Cabaye would leave St James’ Park. But, by publicizing Arsenal’s offer, Newcastle will likely hope to spark an auction for the player’s signature.
Paris Saint-Germain have long been linked with the former Lille man and the London Evening Standard believes that the French champions are willing to offer £15 million, a figure that Arsenal are said to be prepared to match. PSG, Champions League quarterfinalists last season and managed by Laurent Blanc, who Cabaye worked under with France, would surely be a tempting proposition.
Quite why Arsenal are pursuing another ball-playing midfielder remains something of a mystery. There is, though, further speculation that they are also keen on a player with the dynamic, powerful presence that they actually need. According to the Evening Standard, Juventus’s Paul Pogba is back on Wenger’s radar after he failed in an attempt to sign him when departing Manchester United last summer.
But, while the story claims that Pogba’s valuation is £20 million, it is hard to envisage the Italian champions selling a player who is rated so highly at the club and who, at just 20-year-old, has almost unlimited potential, for such a fee. It would be a major surprise were Arsenal able to procure Pogba and it may be that the Gunners are wasting yet more time in this transfer window.
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Their already extensive pursuit of Luis Suarez has seemingly proved a fruitless affair. Yet, amazingly, according to the Daily Mirror, the Gunners have not yet conceded defeat in their attempts to pry the Uruguayan forward away from Anfield. With Liverpool’s owner having categorically stated that Suarez will not be sold to Arsenal and with the 26-year-old appearing to have mended the relationship with his manager and teammates, it is now hard to see how a deal could still happen.
Also in the Mirror’s story is news of Arsenal’s interest in Manchester City’s Micah Richards. The fact that the 25-year-old can play right-back and fill in in the center of defense means it is easy to see why he would be attractive to Wenger. Richards, who has struggled for regular action with City in recent times – partly through injury -- and looking to get back in England contention before next year’s World Cup may also be keen on a move. However, with City’s current defensive injury problems -- Vincent Kompany has now joined Matija Nastasic on the sidelines -- Manuel Pellegrini is unlikely to be willing to part with Richards unless he first secures at least one defensive reinforcement.