Although the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool have already made significant signings in the summer transfer window, Arsenal have yet to make their first move. Manager Arsene Wenger stressed in the closing weeks of the season that he would not be rushed into adding players to his squad, but, despite finishing the campaign with a second-straight FA Cup triumph, plans are thought to be in motion to bring in reinforcements ahead of next season.
One name that has been mentioned prominently in recent weeks is that of Porto striker Jackson Martínez. The Colombian scored 32 goals last season and has been a prolific scorer since arriving in Portugal three years ago. And there have been a number of reports suggesting Arsenal are keen to bring him in to bolster an attack that this past season was led by Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck, both of whom endured significant droughts and were criticized for their efficiency in front of goal. It appears that Martínez will be leaving this summer, with his representative revealing that a transfer should be completed imminently.
“The future of Jackson is pretty much set and everything should be settled in the coming days,” Luiz Henrique Pompeo told O Jogo. “The player will go to a top European club, which will be named as soon as the contract is signed. Porto will receive his full 35 million euros (£25 million) release clause.”
It remains to be seen whether it is Arsenal who are in pole position, given that AC Milan have also been suggested as a possible destination. In many ways it would be a surprise were Arsenal to be the club to secure Martinez’s signature. It would certainly be against Wenger’s previous record if he were to sanction such a large fee on a player who will turn 29 in October.
Martínez is not the only striker linked with Arsenal of late. An even more unlikely transfer target has emerged in Paris Saint-Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Yet again, though, Milan, looking to rebuild after a disastrous season, have been put forward as an alternate suitor. Sky Sports have reported their understanding that the Italian giants have already held talks with the Swedish star’s agent Mino Raiola.
Ibrahimovic moved from Milan to PSG in 2012, becoming the top scorer in Ligue 1 in each of his first two seasons. Yet, while Arsenal and Chelsea have been keenly linked with an £11 million transfer, Ibrahimovic has stated that he has no intention of moving this summer.
“I belong to PSG -- and I have one-year contract with them,: he said, reports The Telegraph. “It is the media who talk about the rumors [of leaving]. But there is nothing behind them. During a transfer window, you never know what can happen. But I will not leave -- I appreciate PSG and we had a fantastic season. The project here is still developing.”
The other focus of rumors surrounding Arsenal has been their reported quest for a defensive midfielder. Although Francis Coquelin performed admirably after returning from a loan spell at Charlton during the campaign, it is believed that Wenger may still be seeking reinforcements in the position. One of those linked has been Geoffrey Kondogbia, who dominated the midfield area in Monaco’s victory at the Emirates in the Champions League. The Daily Mirror, though, claim that both AC Milan and Inter Milan are also very keen on the 22-year-old France international.
In addition to Kondogbia, Arsenal are also thought to hold an interest in Sevilla’s impressive holding midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak. The 25-year-old was a vital presence as Sevilla just missed out on a top-four place in La Liga and won the Europa League. He also has a 30 million euros (£21.7 million) release clause in his contract, which Sevilla are understandably thought to be insistent be met if he is to leave. According to the Daily Mail, Southampton have already seen a £9 million offer knocked back. It would be a major surprise were Kryhchowiak to turn down the chance to play in the Champions League to go to Southampton, even were a fee to be agreed. While Arsenal would be a more attractive option, his asking price may prove prohibitive.