Arsenal are set to make an increased bid of €28 million to seal a transfer for Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic. Such a bid pours cold water on the recently reported rumors that a deal sending Jovetic to Arsenal is as good as done. It would also be highly out of character for Arsenal to spend so much to land one player.
Reports in Italy suggest the Gunners will make what would be for them a lavish offer, once they seal a UEFA Champions League place for next season. Website Forzaitalianfootball.com cites an article in La Nazione claiming the Gunners are ready to improve the terms of their offer.
That would seem to contradict recent suggestions Arsenal have already got their man. Both The Daily Mail and The Daily Express recently claimed a deal between Arsenal and Fiorentina, to transfer Jovetic from Italy to North London, was close to completion.
However, these fresh reports don't necessarily undermine the claims made in the UK press. The articles in the Express and the Mail, both offered around £24 million as a proposed fee. That's just what €28 million converts to.
Symmetry in the mooted fees aside, the Jovetic to Arsenal stories are growing in number. It's clear the Gunners need a match-winner of his supreme quality. Failure to sign such a player this summer could leave manager Arsene Wenger and his squad far behind the true major title contenders.
If Wenger seriously hopes to ruffle the feathers of the two Manchester giants and Chelsea on the domestic scene, he may have no choice but to dramatically alter his spending habits. The thoughtful team-builder has been frugal almost to a fault, during his time at Arsenal, particularly since the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium in 2006.
He has tried to battle artillery fire with a pea shooter for far too long. Arsenal are now as far away from serious title contention as they have been since Wenger assumed control in 1996.
Worst still, the 2012/13 Gunners have looked like a mediocre squad for much of this term. A gulf in quality isn't just evident, it's tangible and obvious whenever this Arsenal team faces one of the real trophy hunters.
Stemming the slide into average status is going to take a major gamble from Wenger. Spending over £20 million on a player just hasn't been his way. However, with apparent money to spend this summer and a seeming acknowledgement of Arsenal's decline, Wenger could change all that.
Changing it for Jovetic is a move worth making. His technical excellence and creative flair is what Arsenal have missed too often since losing skillful linchpins Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie in consecutive summers.
Arsenal's recent 1-1 draw at home with newly crowned English Premier League champions Manchester United, showed that a touch of class in forward areas is what's missing the most. Graft hasn't been Arsenal's problem in recent weeks, but producing moments of game-changing quality has.
Welcoming Jovetic to the ranks would change all that. Without top-class match-winners like the 23-year-old Montenegro international, Wenger won't end that eight-year trophy drought anytime soon.
He may have to pay big to land the players who can make the difference between finally claiming silverware again, or experiencing another season of frustration.