ARSENAL TRANSFER RUMOURS: Jovetic, Capoue, Van Persie and Nzonzi Involved In Latest Speculation

on July 10 2012 11:00 AM
Robin van Persie
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is likely to face the challenge of replacing Robin van Perise's 30 Premier League goals from last season. Reuters

With a once-presumed deal for Yann M'Vila now looking all but dead in the water, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger now appears to be casting his eyes elsewhere in the search for a player to bolster the side's central midfield.

According to reports, near the top of Wenger's wanted list is Toulouse's Etienne Capoue. TalkSport has been leading the speculation about this potential deal, and now claim that Barcelona have entered the race for the 23-year-old.

It is quite possible that the Catalan giants are on the lookout for midfield reinforcements after Seydou Keita elected against signing a new contract at the Camp Nou and instead completed a switch to Chinese side Dalian Aerbin.

If Barcelona do go head-to-head with the Gunners over the £9.5 million-rated Frenchman, then Wenger will hope to lure him to the Emirates with the promise of more regular first-team action.

Arsenal could also make a move for Blackburn midfielder Steven Nzonzi. The Gunners have been linked with a move for the 23-year-old Frenchman, along with the likes of Chelsea, Stoke and Borussia Dortmund.

The Lancashire Telegraph reports that, in the wake of Blackburn's relegation last season, Nzonzi's representatives have informed the club of the players' desire to leave. In response, Blackburn have left him out of their pre-season training camp in Austria. The story claims that Blackburn are prepared to let Nzonzi leave but are looking to recoup £10 million for a man who cost them just £500,000 from Amiens three years ago.

Nzonzi has proved to be a rare shining light in Blackburn's plight in recent times. However, Wenger may have doubts about paying such a fee for a player outside the top flight who is desperate for a move.

Unsurprisingly, there has also been further speculation about the future of Robin van Persie. Reports on Tuesday have pointed toward Manchester City being in the ascendancy in the race to sign the unsettled Dutchman. Big-spenders Paris Saint-Germain have now appeared to rule themselves out of the running.

Van Persie is not a target of ours, but I think he is for others, said PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti, according to the Daily Mail.

City coach Roberto Mancini is thought to have been told by his superiors at the Etihad to remove some of the excess forwards from the club's wage bill before an offer for Van Persie will be entertained. The Sun reports that City are making strides in that direction with former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor, reportedly on £170,000 a week in wages, closing in on a move to Tottenham.

That could lead to an opening bid of £15 million for Van Persie from City, though it is likely to require lengthy negotiations if the 28-year-old is to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy.

If Van Persie does depart, then it appears Arsenal will have to smash their transfer record to replace him with reported-target Stevan Jovetic.

Arsenal, along with Chelsea and Juventus, have been strongly linked with the 22-year-old Montenegrin. However, Fiorentina have said it would take an offer in excess of €30 million for them to consider selling their prized asset.

Since the start of the season we have said that we are not selling Jovetic, sporting director Daniele Prade said, according to Sky Sports.

There is, however, an agreement with the player that [should we get an offer] above a certain figure, we will sit down and evaluate the offer.

So far we have not received an offer for the player.

He is a top player and we will only consider offers above €30 million.

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