Arsenal are busily pursuing the likes of Eden Hazard and Bastian Schweinsteiger, according to reports, as the transfer window closes in a mere eight days.
The Guardian has reported that Samir Nasri is on the brink of completing a move to Manchester City, for a fee believed to be £22 million. The Frenchman trained with Arsenal on Tuesday morning, but was given permission to fly to Manchester for discussing personal terms.
Reports early on Tuesday had stated that Manchester City were given a deadline of Wednesday morning to conclude a deal for Nasri, or face the risk of the player being cup-tied for the Champions League. However, Wenger was forced to omit Nasri from the squad as the player himself asked not to be included in the team. After City's 3-2 win over Bolton on Sunday, their manager Roberto Mancini had voiced his unhappiness at the delay in Nasri's deal and had stated that if the player was cup-tied, the deal would be off.
The news alarmed Nasri, who believes he has a better chance for a trophy if he plays for City, while he also stands to earn double what he currently does.
Afterwards, Arsene Wenger, Arsenal's boss, admitted that losing two key players, including Cesc Fabregas, was a huge blow.
The summer was very difficult because we had Fabregas and Nasri on permanent transfer negotiations and that is draining in the end, he said. We lost two great players and that's a sad side of the story but at some stage it has to be over, because you want to focus on the future.
With the sale of Fabregas, the main criticism aimed at Wenger was that he refused to pay heavy for big name players. However, Wenger had responded to the criticism saying he wouldn't mind paying £40 million for the right player. According to fanatix.com, that player is Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Due to criticism leveled at him after Bayern's poor start to the season, especially from club legends Franz Beckenbauer and Oliver Khan, the German international is understood to be unhappy at the club. The report touts Arsenal to make a £30 million offer for the player, depending on whether they qualify for the Champions League group stages.
Elsewhere, BBC Sport understands that Lille midfielder Eden Hazard has emerged as the top transfer target for the Gunners and Wenger is believed to be considering a bid for the £26 million rated Belgian.
Hazard was the Ligue 1 player of the year last season, as he played a key role in Lille's double-win in France. However, he is contracted at the club till 2015 and the French champions have stated that they would rebuff any move for the player.
Eden will not be leaving this season. Lille general manager Frederic Paquet said, We are aware of interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe but we are not prepared to sell.
He is very happy here, he understands our project and wants to stay for at least another year.
However, Hazard, who has scored 23 goals in 123 club appearances and has 20 caps for Belgium, has been monitored by Arsenal for a long time. With the departure of Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona and Samir Nasri's imminent move to Manchester City, Arsenal are keen to bring the 20-year-old to the Emirates as he will bring with him some much needed quality in midfield.
Another Lille player linked with a move to the Emirates is striker Moussa Sow, according to insidefutbol.com. The 25-year-old had a natural chemistry with Hazard and converted many of the chances created by the Belgian, which saw him score 25 goals in 36 games for Lille. Many clubs across Europe, including Real Madrid, Juventus and Turkish side Fenerbache have been linked to the Senegalese hitman.
Although Lille want to keep him, the player himself has been thinking about a move and hinted at the possibility.
I feel good at Lille, said Sow to Canal+, before adding, We'll see what the management of the club think because, keep in mind that the transfer market ends on 31st August.
I'd love to play at Arsenal, because my game suits the Premier League. However, Real Madrid is a real top team.
Apart from strengthening the midfield, the defence remains a weak-link in the Arsenal squad and the club have been linked to many players across England and Europe, including Werder Bremen centre-half Per Mertesacker. The player has been touted by many as the one to solve Arsenal's defensive woes, while the club have been monitoring his position as he has just one year left in his contract. However, the 26-year-old has moved to quash links, stating he would remain at the German club.
I am a player of Werder Bremen and I like playing in the green-white of the club,'' he told Sportinformationsdienst. ''I love being skipper of the club and I proceed on the assumption that I will at least see out the campaign in the colours of Werder Bremen.
Finally, Arsenal have been trying to offload their flop centre-back Sebastian Squillaci, but have failed to find a buyer. The defender joined from Sevilla last year for a fee of £4 million, but he has had a torrid time at England.