The Daily Mirror reports that Arsenal will lodge summer bids for Bundesliga trio Robert Lewandowski, Mario Goetze and Lars Bender. This would represent a major shift in transfer practice from Arsene Wenger.
The Arsenal boss has become a keen admirer of the talent available in the German market. However, Wenger has often been loathed to spend vast sums on any one player. He has certainly been reluctant to embark on the kind of spending spree needed to sign three of the Bundesliga's brightest talents.
Things would be particularly tricky, considering Arsenal's UEFA Champions League place next season is still far from assured.
The link to Lewandowski also conflicts with recent reports. The creative, Polish striker is set to leave Dortmund, but Bayern Munich have been identified as his likely destination.
There are also consistent links with prospective English Premier League champions, Manchester United. The Gunners would be facing serious competition for Lewandowski and his acquisition would raise serious doubts about the futures of their current strikers.
Frenchman Olivier Giroud has struggled to convince at times this season. However, he has still netted 16 goals during an inconsistent campaign.
If he finishes with 20 or more goals, that would be a healthy return for a first season in the EPL. Yet Lewandowski is also a natural central striker.
His technical excellence and flair seem better suited to Wenger's style of play. One player who certainly fits the Gunners brand of football is Goetze.
The diminutive attacking midfielder is a stylish playmaker, blessed with an abundance of quickness and creativity. At just 20, he fits the mold of a classic Wenger signing.
However, even Goetze's potential arrival offers more questions than answers. The first is do Arsenal even need another midfield schemer?
They currently have Santi Cazorla, who has been outstanding in his debut season in England. There is also precocious youth Jack Wilshere and savvy veteran Tomas Rosicky.
One option could be to deploy Goetze on the left of Arsenal's front three. Cazorla has occupied that berth recently, but signing Goetze would allow the Spaniard to move back to the middle full-time.
Yet even that would cast uncertainty on another recent signing, Lukas Podolski. The Germany international has been out of the team for a while and his overall form has been sporadic.
Wenger could be looking to upgrade the position, amid rumors Podolski is already primed to move on. Juventus and Atletico Madrid have been mooted as possible suitors.
Bender would give Wenger a smart and cultured passer in midfield. He has emerged as an intelligent link player for Bayer Leverkusen and a rising star in the Bundesliga.
Signing any of this talented trio would represent a bold transfer shift from Wenger.
He would be spending big for instant gains. That goes against his often controversial model of careful investment and devloping youth to foster consistent success.
There's also the fact that all three of these targets are forward players and don't answer Arsenal's more pressing needs. A quick and commanding centre-back, along with decisive and competent goalkeeper seem like more urgent priorities.
However, the reported £70 million available to Wenger this summer and his propensity for favoring attacking talent, means Gunners fans should expect more rumors like this in the coming months.742161