Arsenal’s outclassing by Bayern Munich in the first-leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday has prompted further questioning of the club’s direction and a desire on the part of many of the club’s fans to see the Gunners spend big in order to reduce the gulf to Europe’s elite.
Arsenal’s spending on transfer fees in recent seasons falls far short of that of their rivals both at home and abroad. However, recent days have seen speculation that the frugal approach will finally change with a significant outlay this summer.
Spanish publication El Economista has reported that Arsenal will return with a second bid for Barcelona forward David Villa at the end of the season. Arsene Wenger revealed that the Gunners failed with an approach for the 31-year-old in January and there have been suggestions from many that the Arsenal boss would switch to younger targets in the summer.
El Economista, though, believes that Arsenal will make another offer of €16 million (£14m). It is also claimed that Villa is eager to make the move to the Emirates and that he has will be further encouraged to do so by teammate Cesc Fabregas and international colleagues Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal.
Arsenal have also been linked to Barcelona’s Victor Valdes in recent days. There have been suggestions that Wenger is looking for another goalkeeper and Wojciech Szczesny’s error for Bayern’s second goal is unlikely to have dissuaded the Frenchman otherwise.
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According to the Sun, Arsenal are also interested in Sunderland stopper Simon Mignolet. Although, at 24, he is just two years older than Szczesny, the Belgium international has been consistently impressive for Sunderland in the past 18 months.
There is likely to be competition for Mignolet’s signature, however, with the Sun also reporting that Manchester United are following his progress.
It appears that Arsenal are also looking to strengthen their defense, with the agent of Fernando Amorebieta claiming that he is in talks with the Gunners about a free transfer.
The center-back will be out of contract with Athletic Bilbao in the summer and looks certain to leave the La Liga outfit after failing to agree to their final offer of a new deal.
According to Gines Carvajal, Amorebieta, 27, is keen on a switch to the Premier League and a move to the Emirates is a distinct possibility.
"We have had some contact with Anzhi, they were ready to make a good offer, but my client wants to play in England so the transfer to Russia was not possible," Carvajal said, according to the Daily Mirror.
"We are in talks with Arsenal, he could join them in June."
There has also been yet another report linking Arsenal with Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama. The 21-year-old would appear an ideal fit for Arsenal’s need of a physical midfield presence and could well be available this summer.
The Daily Express claims that Wenger has demanded reports on the Kenyan, who would cost at least £10 million.
It has long been reported that Arsenal have regularly sent scouts to watch Wanyama in action, as have Manchester United.