Published 21/06/2011 | 09:00
Arsenal have been in need of a goalkeeper ever since Jens Lehmann left in 2007. Not even bringing the German back in January could fix the problem. Penny-pincher Wenger may find some value in Robert Green. The West Ham stopper is a free agent after running down his contract at Upton Park. But if he is willing to spend on a keeper he could do worse than Maarten Stekelenburg of Ajax. The Dutch stopper is stalling on a new contract but has intimated a desire to join Manchester United. Alternatively or in addition to a new keeper, Jens Lehmann may stay on.
Another West Ham player out of contract is Matthew Upson. As a former Gunner (Wenger sold him in 2003) he would fit right in and in doing so fill a much needed gap in the centre of defence. A prolonged injury to Thomas Vermalaen seriously derailed Arsenal's most recent trophy push and highlighted the need for greater depth in quality. The 32-year-old England defender would provide much more serious competition at the back than the likes of Sebastien Squillaci.
If Wenger does invest in a central defender, there is another Englishman rumoured to be on his radar. Gary Cahill has been earning plaudits ever since joining Bolton in 2008. The 25-year-old has become a mainstay in the Trotters defence under Owen Coyle as the Whites have forged a reputation as a respectable Premier League team. With it also came his first England caps. Bolton will be hugely reluctant to sell, meaning Stan Kroenke will have to open his wallet very wide to secure his services. Having lost out to Manchester United in the race for Phil Jones, Arsenal's options are reducing.
Ajax centre back Vertonghen is also capable of playing at left-back and defensive midfield which explains why Arsenal have been scouting the Belgian international. Vertonghen is able to offer superb passing, leadership, a thunderous left-foot and a great deal of experience for a 24-year-old. Would come highly recommended by current Gunner and former Ajax player Vermaelen.
West Ham will sell Footballer of the Year Parker this summer and there will be a long line of suitors. Fighting to be at the front of the queue is Wenger who envisages the midfielder pairing up with Jack Wilshere in the centre, as they have done for England. Parker would want a long-term deal which would go against Wenger's self-imposed policy of not offering extended contracts to players over 30, but in this case he appears willing to break his own rules. £6m should be enough to bring him in.
Danish international Kjaer joined Wolfsburg not long after Steve McClaren took the helm of the Bundesliga club. After an impressive spell in Serie A, Kjaer decided to broaden his horizon further with a surprise move to Germany. Yet the move didn't turn out as planned with Wolfsburg only just avoiding relegation. The 22-year-oldf has been a reported Arsenal target for a while now.
Southampton's boy-wonder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been on the transfer wish list of just about every club going for the past year. The 17-year-old winger has been hailed as the future of England and the next Theo Walcott. And like the current Saint-turned-Gunner, Chamberlain reportedly has a preference for Arsenal over any other.
Lille general manager, Frédéric Paquet, recently revealed that the club's Ivorian striker Gervinho is close to a £12m move to Arsenal. "He wants to go and has developed contacts with Arsenal. We will soon have talks with them and see what they offer. He has expressed a desire to go to England and we'll see what happens." The rapid 24-year-old has been on the radar for the last couple of years following some eye-catching performances for both club and country.
Arsenal need more options in attack. With Robin van Persie's injury record, Mouroun Chamahk's inconsistency and Nicklas Bendtner's all-round averageness surely Wenger will go out and buy a striker. He's been on the case of Lille's Eden Hazard for some time, once responding to Hazard's claim he wanted to join Arsenal by saying: "Let us try to make his dream come true". The 20-year-old has enjoyed another useful season in France, contributing goals and assists as Lille won the Ligue 1 title.
Wenger has been linked with a move for Willian of Shakhtar Donetsk, the Arsenal of Ukraine. According to reports Arsenal scouts watched the Brazilian 22-year-old on numerous occasions last season. Shakhtar rate Willian at £22m, which would be too steep for Arsenal, who will be hoping a deal of around £13m can be struck. He could prove a useful replacement for Samir Nasri, should the Frenchman move on.
Arsenal extended their ongoing hunt for a trophy to another year after an all too familiar collapse at the latter stages of last season.
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Arsene Wenger's reliance on youth has come under scrutiny like never before, with some fans even calling for the Frenchman to go. The Arsenal manager has shown signs that a change of tact may be needed which could signal some significant summer signings. The board have also signalled a likelihood of new arrivals, meaning a rare busy summer could be on the cards at the Emirates.
Here, we take a look at the players that have been cropping up on the rumour mill both in the press and online, linked with a move to Arsenal.