With the 2014 World Cup in full swing, several competing players have opened themselves up to possible lucrative deals in the summer transfer period. Arsenal reportedly have their eye on a few notable players in the tournament.
Arsene Wenger is seeking a right back to replace Bacary Sagna, and to create competition for the rather inexperienced Carl Jenkinson. Arsenal also remain on the search for a striker, a defensive midfielder, and perhaps a reserve goalkeeper.
According to the Daily Star and Daily Mirror, enigmatic striker Mario Balotelli is open to a move to the north London club in a £25 million transfer.
It’s unclear if AC Milan would seriously consider moving Balotelli after paying Manchester City roughly £16 million, plus incentives, in Jan. 2013. It may also be a stretch for Arsenal to consider a player with such a turbulent history.
In recent weeks, Balotelli has been linked to Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham. The talented 23-year-old scored the deciding goal against England in Italy’s group opener, and further positive results in Brazil may perhaps create more opportunities for a move from Serie A.
Another player coming off a great World Cup effort is Guillermo Ochoa. The Mexico goalkeeper shut out Brazil on Tuesday in arguably the best performance of a keeper in the tournament. The Express reported that Ochoa wants to play in Champions League, and that Arsenal and Liverpool are pursuing the free agent.
Ochoa would almost certainly have to take a reserve role with either club. He most recently played for Ajaccio, which finished in last place in Ligue 1 in 2013-2014.
Meanwhile, Ezequiel Lavezzi, who failed to feature in Argentina’s match against Bosnia-Hercegovina, is a top Arsenal target at £15 million, based on a report from the Sun.
Lavezzi, 29, has scored 12 goals in 60 appearances for Paris-Saint Germain since joining the club from Napoli in 2012. He also has four goals in 31 appearances for Argentina.
Arsenal have been linked to more prolific forwards than Lavezzi this offseason, which not only include Balotelli, but also Gonzalo Higuain and Alvaro Morata. Carlos Vela could also return to the Gunners after a successful loan campaign with Real Sociedad since 2012.