The transfer window officially opened on Monday and it is expected to be a busy two months for Arsenal. With around £70 million in the kitty, there is much pressure on Arsene Wenger to spend significant sums on quality players after years of shopping at a lower end of the market than their rivals both in the Premier League and in Europe. While clubs are only now officially able to sign players, Arsenal have already been doing plenty of work trying to line up deals.
Furthest advanced is the Gunners’ move for Gonzalo Higuain. Spanish sports daily Marca has reported that Higuain is close to finalizing terms with Arsenal and is now awaiting a fee to be agreed with Real Madrid. Encouragingly for Arsenal fans, it is also believed that Juventus’ interest may well be over following their signing of Carlos Tevez. Added to that fact is Juventus’ failure to meet Madrid’s valuation, while Arsenal are thought to have more funds at their disposal.
It is a very different tone struck by the Daily Star, however. The British tabloid claims that Arsenal risk losing out on Higuain as they struggle to match the figures being offered by both Juventus and Tottenham. The same assertion is made about Arsenal’s interest in Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney, with the likes of Chelsea, Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain all circling.
Rooney’s future is likely to become clearer in the coming days with new United manager David Moyes beginning work on Monday and expected to hold talks with the England international as one of his first pieces of business. In the Daily Mirror it is reported that Arsenal have already made a preemptive strike to try and lure Rooney to the Emirates by making a bid of £20 million. It is said that the offer will be followed up by one from Chelsea and the Gunners are likely to have to up their bid if they are to tempt United to sell the player, especially to a Premier League rival.
Added to that interest in Higuain and Rooney is the surprising claim by the Sunday People that Arsenal are also keen on Chelsea’s Fernando Torres. With Chelsea believed to be looking to sign a striker this summer, the Spaniard could find himself down the pecking order next season. Despite his struggles to live up to the £50 million Chelsea paid for him in 2011, Torres would likely still command a significant fee and hefty wages.
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There has also been plenty of talk that Arsenal are interested in Aston Villa’s Belgium international striker Christian Benteke. The 22-year-old had a fine debut season in the Premier League last term, scoring 19 goals. There have been plenty of suggestions that Benteke would be keen on a big move this summer, but Villa are determined to hold onto him and have now issued an asking price of £25 million, reports the Daily Mirror. The Midlands club hope that the guarantee of regular first-team action ahead of next year’s World Cup could help to persuade Benteke to remain at Villa Park.