Having done some good early business this summer, Arsenal have avoided the same desperate panic that engulfed the club in the closing days of the August 2011 transfer window. Yet, having seen both Robin van Persie and Alex Song depart in the previous week, there is still an appetite among fans to see reinforcements arrive before the Aug. 31 deadline. That desire seemingly also stretches to the manager.
"My approach is that we have a very strong squad but if one or two opportunities arise we will take it," Arsene Wenger said on Friday.
"There's always a lot going on in the last week--in and out. We have some players who can go out, but overall there is always something happening in the last week," he added. "I have a clear idea of what I want to do, if it happens, it happens."
While Wenger also claimed that he was looking for a "special player," as always with the notoriously frugal Frenchman, deals are unlikely to happen unless the price is right.
Here are five candidates:
Yann M'Vila (Rennes)
The defensive midfielder once looked a certainty to move to the Emirates, but the idea of paying £17 million for a player who suffered a dip in form last season and has also had disciplinary problems both on and off the pitch did not appeal to Wenger.
Rennes have recently said that three clubs have registered their interest in the player, with Arsenal thought to be one of them. The France international could blossom into the disciplined holding midfielder Arsenal have been missing, but Rennes will have to lower their asking price, considerably.
Philippe Mexes (Milan)
Wenger has admitted that he may look to strengthen his defense and Mexes is the kind of signing that it is easy to envisage the Arsenal boss making. Reports have suggested that Milan may be willing to allow the French central defender to leave as part of an exchange for Arsenal forward Nicklas Bendtner.
While he has a big reputation, Arsenal fans will be wise to have doubts about the 30-year-old's ability to be a consistent performer in the Premier League. Mexes enjoyed a less than stellar first season in Milan last term and was similarly underwhelming at Euro 2012. His salary is also likely to be a problem given that he arrived in the Italian capital on a free transfer from Roma.
Cheikh M'Bengue (Toulouse)
The Senegal international left-back made the surprise claim last week that Arsenal are interested in signing him. While left-back would not seem a position that the Gunners were in immediate need of strengthening, neither Kieran Gibbs nor Andre Santos have yet made the position their own. Gibbs' development has been beset by consistent injuries, while Santos has struggled defensively since joining last summer and was also recently arrested for dangerous driving.
M'Bengue, 24, has hinted that an offer from Arsenal would be too good to turn down and could well be an option for the Gunners.
Cheick Tiote (Newcastle)
The Ivorian has been a tenacious presence at the heart of Newcastle's midfield for the past two seasons since joining from FC Twente. His form has led to persistent speculation of a move away from Tyneside, with the 26-year-old frequently linked to Chelsea. However, reports recently emerged that Arsenal could also be interested in Tiote as a replacement for Song.
While it is his defensive abilities that stand out, Arsenal fans will also be well aware that Tiote packs a powerful shot, as he showed with a stunning goal to grab Newcastle a point after being 4-0 down against the Gunners in an infamous match in February 2011. With Newcastle sure to drive a hard bargain for one of their prized assets, it is difficult to see Arsenal being prepared to pay the inflated price owner Mike Ashley will no doubt demand.
Jesus Navas (Sevilla)
The 26-year-old winger is thought to have been a long-time target for Wenger and Spanish publication Marca claimed this week that the Gunners could be set to make a €15 million bid. Even if that proves true, Arsenal are likely to have to dramatically increase their offer if they are to secure a player who has become a key part of the Spanish squad in recent years.
His influence has been felt in both the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 where Navas consistently appeared off the bench to offer a new dimension to Spain's play with his width. With Theo Walcott running into the final year of his contract, Arsenal fans should be happy with the prospect of bringing in Navas for similar money. With so little time remaining in the transfer window, though, this one looks unlikely-for now.