There's never any shortage of names linked with a transfer to Arsenal, but who are the realistic targets? Separating the viable options from the fanciful suggestions, leaves five sensible potential purchases for the Gunners this summer.
They include a Ligue 1 defensive midfielder and a star striker from this year's Africa Cup of Nations. Here are the top five realistic transfer targets for Arsenal this summer.
5. Fernando Amorebieta, Centre-Back, Athletic Bilbao
There hasn't been a time during the last eight years when Arsenal haven't had issues in defence. One solution could be Athletic Bilbao centre-back Fernando Amorebieta. The Gunners were linked with a move for the 27-year-old during the January transfer window, according to Insidespanishfootball.com.
According to SkySports.com, Arsenal are one of up to five clubs who could still pursue a deal this summer. Amorebieta would certainly add an element of increased aggression to the Gunners back line.
He would have to balance his brutal style, with the frenetic pace of the English Premier League. He will be available on a free transfer this summer, making Amorebieta the perfect bargain-buy for Arsenal's leaky defence.
4. Alain Traore, Striker, FC Lorient
Prolific striker Alain Traore would be a smart addition to an Arsenal forward line lacking quality depth. The 25-year-old has all the hallmarks of a classic Arsene Wenger signing. The Gunners boss has always been adept at plundering the riches of the African and French markets.
Traore has been very impressive for Burkina Faso in this season's Africa Cup of Nations. He has shown similar form in France's top division for FC Lorient. Metro claims only an injury scuppered an Arsenal transfer during the winter window.
The same article also claims a fee of only £5 million would be required to pry Traore from France and bring him to North London.
3. Serge Aurier, Full-Back, Toulouse
Serge Aurier is one of two Toulouse players who could be prime targets for Arsenal this summer. The Daily Mirror has credited Arsenal with strong interest in the talented youngtser. The 20-year-old full-back could be seen as the ideal long-term replacement for veteran Bacary Sagna.
Diminutive and pacey, Aurier is quick and athletic enough to cope with the demands of playing full-back for the Gunners. Wenger requires his full-backs to be active at both ends of the pitch.
In particular, Arsenal's full-backs are tasked with being vital attacking outlets. They are required to begin forward moves and execute link-up play at speed. Aurier fits the bill for this vital role.
If the Gunners can't agree fresh terms with Sagna, Aurier would be the perfect choice to succeed him.
2. Benedikt Howedes, Centre-Back, Schalke 04
In recent seasons Wenger has turned to the Bundesliga to help boost his squad. Experienced internationals like Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker have been recruited. They have joined youngsters Thomas Eisfeld and Serge Gnabry, as Wenger has looked to create roots in a new market.
Another player who could make the trip from the Bundesliga is Benedikt Howedes. The towering central defender is an imposing figure for Schalke 04. He would add real power at the heart of the Gunners back four.
The 24-year-old is said to be on Wenger's radar, according to a report from talkSport.co.uk. Landing a stopper as smart and physically intimidating as Howedes, would be a major summer coup for the Gunners.
1. Etienne Capoue, Defensive Midfielder, Toulouse
One player consistently linked with a move to Arsenal is Etienne Capoue. The Toulouse star operates in a position many believe the Gunners must strengthen. He is a strong and combative defensive midfielder, offering true protection to a back four.
Capoue plays with the robust style and positional discipline Arsenal have often lacked at the base of their midfield. Not since the intelligent Gilberto Silva roamed the gap between midfield and defence, have Arsenal possessed a player with these vital qualities.
The Daily Telegraph recently suggested Arsenal will swoop for Capoue at the end of this season.
These five players are viable transfer targets for Arsenal this summer. They are all solid performers, possessing both experience and also the potential to develop into stars.1007870