Arsenal are close to signing the much-vaunted Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton, with widespread reports stating that the player has already undergone a medical at the club.
The Gunners have already had a £10 million bid rejected for the player, which was inclusive of £5m up front with the rest based on performance-related add-ons. However, they have, according to various reports, increased the down payment offer to £7 million with a further £5 million to be paid as add-ons. The Telegraph expects the deal to be completed by the end of this week, barring any late problems between the two clubs concerned.
Chamberlain, who will be 18 next Monday, had previously indicated that his preference was Arsenal despite Liverpool and Manchester United making their interest known. The highly-rated youngster is not expected to feature for the first team next season, though he should be a regular for Carling Cup and FA Cup matches, if Arsene Wenger sticks to his policy.
Elsewhere, Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Benfica was disappointing for not just obvious reason. Three of Wenger's men suffered injuries off which two were defenders - Keiron Gibbs and Thomas Vermaelen. It has increased the urgency in Arsenal's pursuit for a central defender and reports suggest that Chief scout Steve Rowley to watch Bolton centre-back Gary Cahill.
Cahill has been long linked to Arsenal, but the Gunners seemed to have decided on Everton's Phil Jagielka. However, with the Merseysider's demanding at least £18 million, Arsenal have turned their attention to Cahill. Although the 25-year-old has a £17 million release clause, they are hoping to pay less due to the fact that he is already into the final 12 years of the contract.
Wenger is also interested in Birmingham's Scott Dann, while Arsenal had had an £8m offer for Chris Samba rejected by Blackburn previously.
Werder Bremen defender Per Mertesacker is another reported Arsenal target, and a deal looks all the more likely after the German side stated that they would consider "serious offers."
Werder general manager Klaus Allofs said in the People, "We are willing to discuss a transfer for Per. We have promised him we will listen to serious offers," while Wenger said he was targeting a signing of "super quality" which could be sealed "next week". Mertesacker could have been the player he had in mind.
Finally, Arsenal are also reportedly close to completing a deal for Costa Rican youngster Joel Campbell. For a fee believed to be £1 million, Arsenal are set to sign the 19-year-old and he is seen as one for the future.