Arsenal are finally making progress in the transfer market, albeit with a day left, as they attempt to strengthen a squad ruthlessly exposed by defending champions Manchester United.
Club manager Arsene Wenger, who was given the full backing of the board, has millions in hand and will look to strengthen his defence and midfield before the transfer window closes on 2300 BST, Wednesday.
Late on Monday, Wenger sanctioned the sale of Armand Traore to Queens Park Rangers, despite being left with only one recognized centreback in Kieran Gibbs. It seemed a strange decision at the moment, but fresh reports from Turkey have emerged, stating that the Gunners are close to signing Brazilian left-back Andre Santos from Fenerbache, with claims emerging that a £6 million deal had been agreed to. It is understood that the player will arrive in London on Tuesday for a medical before putting pen-to-paper.
Santos comes with 22 caps for Brazil, along with valuable Champions League experience.
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Central-defence remains the key area to be shored up though, and having failed in their bid to land Gary Cahill from Bolton, Arsenal have turned their attention to German international Per Mertesacker. Widespread reports suggest that the Gunners are in advanced talks with Werder Bremen for the signing of the 26-year-old. Although the player stated last week that he would remain at Bremen, he has entered the final year of his contract at the club and has stagnated at Bremen after six years at the club. Arsenal are preparing a reported fee of around £10 million to bring him to the Emirates.
If successful, it is likely to end Arsenal's interest in Gary Cahill, who is much more costly and is also wanted by Spurs.
Reports on Monday suggested that Arsenal are attempting to purchase Brazilian centreback Alex from Chelsea with some quarters claiming that the Gunners had already approached Chelsea about the 29-year-old. The player has fallen down the Blues' pecking order since the arrival of fellow-Brazilian David Luiz in January, and although Juventus were interested in him earlier in the summer, reports suggest Chelsea are ready to sell him to Arsenal.
The Blues' value him at £10 million though, while Arsenal see him worth £7 million. But the clubs are expected to arrive at a compromise around the region of £8-9 million.
Further reports have now emerged that Arsenal are also interested in two more Chelsea players - Yossi Benayoun and Florent Malouda. Benayoun has admitted that he is in talks with clubs while Malouda's position at the club is under threat after the arrival of Juan Mata. Chelsea are looking to free-up slots in their 25 man squad as they attempt their own late activity in the transfer window, and Malouda could be sold for the right offer.
Korean international Park Chu-Young has completed his medical and an official announcement is set to follow. However, one player who will not be joining Arsenal is Borrussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Gotze. Arsenal had a bid rejected for the highly-rated 19-year-old, and the player's agent revealed the he isn't ready to make a move from the Bundesliga as yet.
Mario will stay at Dortmund, for sure, the next two years. There is no chance of him going to another club this window,'' Struth told Goal. This is because he is so young and it is too early in his career for him. The club, the player and his family, we are all of one mind that it is better for him to stay there because he is happy at Dortmund.
A huge problem Arsenal currently face is the inflated prices in the market. Sellers know that Arsenal are in crisis and have the funds at disposal, thereby inflating the prices for players. This can be seen in their pursuit of Yann M'Vila. Wenger offered £22 million for the Rennes holding midfielder, but the French side are demanding at least £30 million, which is far too high for a player who is unproven outside France and has no Champions League experience.
However, with the deadline day looming, expect a flurry of transfers.