With just over a month of the transfer window remaining, two of the clubs with aspirations on getting their hands on the Premier League title next season have yet to make a major signing. Yet, managers for both Arsenal and Manchester United are trying to convey a relaxed demeanor about a situation that is starting to get their fans edgy.
Arsenal are known to have narrowed in on Liverpool’s Luis Suarez as they strive to utilize the increased funds at their disposal this summer, add proven quality to their squad and placate critics of their spend-thrift transfer strategy in recent seasons. But unsurprisingly the Uruguayan, who hit 23 Premier League goals last season, is not proving easy to pry from Anfield. That is still proving the case, despite Arsenal triggering a clause of disputed significance with their latest offer of £40 million and £1. Wenger, though, is continuing to urge patience.
“We are ready to do quick deals but all the transfers do not depend only on us," he said, according to the Daily Mirror. "But we are prepared to wait. It looks unlikely before the Emirates Cup [pre-season tournament next weekend]. We still have a strong squad but we are there on the market to try to strengthen our team. With or without additions we can be title challengers next season."
“What we want is not as name but as good player,” he added. “The name is less important. What is more important is the quality of the player. At the moment I must tell you we are not close to signing anybody.”
David Moyes is another manager stressing that there is no need for concern, while reiterating his desire to add to his squad. Manchester United have also had two bids rejected for their leading target, the former Arsenal captain and current Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas.
"I couldn't tell if there will be another bid but obviously we'll take stock of it and decide what we're going to do next,” he said, according to The Guardian.
“We hoped we would do [have strengthened his squad y now], but what we have here is a really good squad of players," he added. "Undoubtedly we're hoping to add to it and we're confident we will do before the window shuts. We've got until September 2, that's the deadline, so I'm confident we'll have players in.”
The biggest transfer saga of the summer, though, is looking like it could well involve Tottenham’s Gareth Bale. Madrid-based sports daily Marca, as is so often the case, is leading the reports about Real Madrid’s pursuit of one of the world’s biggest names. It is now believed that Bale feels aggrieved that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has broken a promise that he could leave if a massive offer arrived from the Spanish giants.
There are conflicting stories about whether an official bid from Madrid has yet been made. The Guardian, though, claims that a record €100 million (£86.4m) offer has been lodged with Bale distraught that it has not been accepted by Levy.
Regardless of whether Bale leaves, signing a top class goal-scorer is certainly a priority for manager Andre Villas-Boas this summer. Having missed out on David Villa, Spurs have now set their sights on another Spain international in the form of Valencia’s Roberto Soldado.
Valencia are prepared to sell to ease their massive debt but appear unwilling to do so for less than the 28-year-old’s €30 million (£25.9m) release clause. With Tottenham eager to lower that fee, talks are ongoing between the clubs, according to Sky Sports.