While Arsenal continue to battle for the No. 3 spot in the Premier League, there continues to be focus on the summer transfer period ahead of the 2012-2013 season.
Manager Arsene Wenger has hinted that the Gunners are interested in opening up their wallet to strengthen their chances of winning silverware for the first time since 2005. The club was criticized by some pundits for not adequately spending last summer after receiving roughly £60 million ($98m) from moving midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. Arsenal also received nearly £14 million ($23m) for defenders Gael Clichy, Emmanuel Eboue, and others.
There have been several names to pop up in the last few months to go along with the high-profile addition of German forward Lukas Podolski. The Gunners look to be making a defensive midfielder to go alongside Alex Song a priority this summer. French international Yann M'Villa has continued to be linked with a move to the Emirates with recent reports suggesting that negotiations are ongoing.
According to Daily Mail, Arsenal are also seriously considering another high-priced defensive midfielder: Javi Martinez of Athletic Bilbao. The 23-year-old, who has featured for the Spain national team, is also capable of filling in at centre back. Martinez's £32 million ($52m) price tag might be too rich for Wenger's blood, and there is likely to be a bidding war this summer as Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Barcelona have all been linked to Martinez.
It is also likely that Wenger will try to bolster his options up front to relieve some of the pressure on Robin van Persie. To that end, the Daily Mail is reporting that the Gunners are interested in signing Polish striker Robert Lewandowski. The 23-year-old has had the best season of his career this year in scoring 20 Bundesliga golas to help Borussia Dortmund retain their league title.
But with Lewandowski delaying talks ona new contract until after he turns out for the co-hosts in Euro 2012, Arsenal, along with Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester City are keeping a close eye on proceedings with a view to launching a bid of between £12 million ($19.5m) and £15 million ($24.5m), according to the report.
While M'Vila, Martinez and Lewandowski have large fees attached to their names, Wenger will likely use the summer to search for burgeoning, and therefore less expensive, stars in the off-season.
The Daily Mirror reported that the Gunners have shown interest in Nick Powell, an 18-year-old who plays for Crewe Alexandra, a club in English League Two. Powell has been a regular for England at various youth levels, and is considered among the most sought-after young players in the country.
Powell has also been linked to Chelsea and Manchester City.