Arsenal have reportedly bid £22 million to sign Everton star Marouane Fellaini, according to Goal.com. The Gunners are said to have triggered the release clause for the versatile midfield ace.
The news of this bid comes on the same day The Independent reported chief executive Ivan Gazidis declared Arsenal are financially equipped to be assertive in the transfer market.
A move for Fellaini would certainly demonstrate Arsenal are serious about being a major force in this summer's transfer window. Reports of a £70 million fund, a new shirt sponsorship deal and an intention to raise the wage structure, have created the expectation Arsenal will spend big.
Given how out of character that would be for cautious manager Arsene Wenger, Arsenal's inactivity so far has left some worried. Wenger is known to value building through youth above all else.
For some that is admirable idealism in a modern game dominated by lavish finances used to buy trophies. To others, Wenger's prudence in the market is viewed as a stubborn adherence to outdated principles and a chief reason Arsenal have gone eight seasons without a trophy.
Signing Fellaini for a major fee would certainly assuage those who hold the latter view. It would prove to fans and rivals that Wenger is determined to return Arsenal to being genuine contenders for football's top prizes.
Fellaini would give the Gunners something they have been missing for too long. He would offer sheer power in the middle of the pitch.
In many ways Fellaini is a throwback to the mold of midfielder Wenger used to favor. Physically imposing as well as technically gifted, Fellaini is similar to former Wenger finds Emmanuel Petit, Patrick Vieira, Edu and Gilberto Silva.
He can be a force at both ends of the field, offering defensive mettle and a scoring threat. For Arsenal, Fellaini would fit best alongside former Everton teammate Mikel Arteta.
He would supplement Arteta's efforts in deeper areas. The towering Belgian standout would also provide a stronger link between midfield and attack.
This is something Arsenal missed badly last season, once Abou Diaby was lost to injury in late-September, 2012. Still only 25 and boasting lengthy and credible English Premier League experience, Fellaini would be a significant addition.
Wenger will have to act fast to land the former Standard Liege prodigy. Fellaini's former manager, David Moyes, could want to bring him to Old Trafford to begin his tenure in charge of Manchester United.
But it would be a bigger statement from Arsenal if Wenger proves he is willing to pay the fees needed to sign established, marquee Premier League players.988908