Arsenal have already missed out on the likes of Diego Costa, Angel Di Maria and now Radamel Falcao, but despite insisting that he will remain “active” in the transfer market, Arsene Wenger is on his way to Rome to referee a charity match on transfer deadline day.
Such was the anger from the Gunners’ supporters who travelled to Leicester for yesterday’s 1-1 draw, the away section shouted an explicit chant to the Arsenal manager that made it clear in no uncertain terms that they want a new striker signed before tonight’s 11pm deadline.
Wenger has so far refused to bow to pressure to bring in a new frontman, insisting that the likes of Yaya Sanogo, Alexis Sanchez and Lukas Podolski can provide ample cover for Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman led the line for the FA Cup champions last season, but he will be out until 2015 after suffering a broken tibia in the 2-2 draw with Everton nine days ago.
He did confirm though that the North London club will remain active in the transfer window with attempts to strengthen the squad set to continue right up until the deadline, although it appears that any of those talks will not be conducted by Wenger himself.
Just spotted Wenger at terminal 5 in Heathrow, said he was going to Rome. pic.twitter.com/yYs8BS4qj2; basedefence (@will152) September 1, 2014
The 64-year-old was spotted awaiting a flight out to Italy, where he is due to referee a charity match in Rome later today. According to the Daily Mail, Wenger is officiating a ‘Match for Peace’ friendly that will feature the likes of Lionel Messia, Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo at Roma’s Stadio Olimpico later tonight – when the club’s fans had hoped he would be finalising moves for a new striker as well as a belief that the squad is still short in defence and midfield.
The 10 biggest transfers that could still happen
The 10 biggest transfers that could still happen
1/10 Radamel Falcao - Manchester United
Despite missing more than six months with injury, the Colombian striker remains one of the hottest properties in Europe. Falcao had been linked with a move to Real Madrid, but Arsenal and Manchester City had been linked with a move on deadline day for the striker. Enter Manchester United, who pulled off the shock of the summer after a season-long loan was agreed in principle with a view to a permanent deal.
2/10 Sami Khedira - Arsenal/Chelsea
Will he, won’t he, will he, won’t he? Sami Khedira is clearly surplus to requirements at Real Madrid after the arrival of Toni Kroos but his wage demands and fee seem to be getting in the way of a resolution. He is a fantastic player and would be a major coup if he were to arrive at either London club, but this transfer will probably rumble on until deadline day
3/10 Edinson Cavani - Liverpool
Another striker unhappy in Ligue 1, Cavani scored 25 goals for PSG last season but is reported to be unhappy playing second fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Paris. PSG don’t want to sell, but Brendan Rodgers is looking at the top end of the market to replace Luis Suarez and could spend big on Cavani or Falcao
4/10 Mehdi Benatia - Manchester United
The classy Moroccan centre-back would perfectly fit the profile as one of the back three in Louis van Gaal's system. The Roma man, believed to be available for about £30m, is very good on the ball, an excellent athlete and a fierce competitor. He is comfortable taking the ball forward and is a threat at set-pieces
5/10 Arturo Vidal - Mancester United
This potential transfer seems to have been rumbling on all summer but appears unlikely. Vidal is supposedly keen on a move and a midfielder of Vidal’s quality would be an upgrade over United’s current crop, but Louis van Gaal is believed to have doubts about the Chilean’s knee
6/10 Petr Cech - Real Madrid/PSG
Jose Mourinho wants Cech to stay in west London but the giant goalkeeper is too good to waste his away on the Chelsea bench. Real Madrid, Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain seem the likeliest destinations for the 32-year-old, who is still one of the very, very best in the world
7/10 Mats Hummels - Manchester United
Again, this deal appeared to be dead after Jurgen Klopp said he had no intention to sell and made the World Cup hero his club captain. But rumours for the German centre-back continue to swirl and given United’s defensive woes – Tyler Blackett is not the answer – a huge bid could tempt the Bundesliga side
8/10 Marco Reus - Various
One of the world’s best young players, Reus is being linked with just about every major European club. Manchester United and Liverpool appear to be leading the race in England, but Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and several other clubs would be delighted with the youngster. Reus’ cheap release clause, the cause of all the speculation, doesn’t take effect until next summer, so a big bid may tempt Dortmund to sell now
9/10 Victor Valdes - Liverpool
The former Barcelona goalkeeper is looking for a new club as he continues his recovery from a serious knee injury that forced him out of the World Cup. Liverpool are looking for a new goalkeeper after letting go of Pepe Reina, and Valdes would certainly provide competition for No 1 Simon Mignolet should he regain full fitness.
10/10 Danny Welbeck - Arsenal/Tottenham
The England international is a target for a number of Premier League clubs, but Manchester United are reluctant to strengthen a potential top-four rival with his departure. As a result, any destination will have to cough up a £5m just to take him on loan, while a permanent deal could be largely inflated given his homegrown status.
The club did look into the possibility of signing Loic Remy from QPR, but pulled out of the move after Chelsea closed in the French striker – later confirming the £10.5m switch on Saturday evening. With moves for Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira, Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender and Adrien Rabiot of Paris Saint-Germain appearing to be dead in the water, the Gunners are looking short on transfer targets to opt for if they are to make any inroads in appeasing those fans desperate for transfer activity.
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The absence of Wenger could also prove pivotal, given the role that the manager played in persuading Mesut Özil on deadline day last season. It took a personal phone call from the Arsenal manager to convince the Germany international that his future lay at the Emirates, and Özil would later confirm that the move was unlikely to have happened had it not been for Wenger’s influence in making him feel wanted.
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