Arsenal’s hopes of signing Gonzalo Higuain continue to diminish as Real Madrid have upped their asking price of the striker to a reported £37m.
The Gunners had looked close to securing the move for around £23m, but a lack of progress over the last few weeks has seen the move look less likely to happen as each day goes by.
Napoli have also entered the race for the Argentinian, having sold Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint-Germain for £55m. Outspoken club president Aurelio De Laurentiis has claimed that they have £108m to spend on bringing in new faces to the Naples club.
Tottenham target Leandro Damiao is believed to be another target of the Serie A side, although no official bid has been made public yet.
Arsene Wenger will be concerned at the lack of progress over a transfer of Higuain, and he may turn his attention to Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, who has come under serious speculation this week over a move away from Old Trafford.
Speaking in Vietnam where his team are currently on a pre-season tour, Wenger spoke on the matter, and admitted that Ronney’s £250,000-a-week wages are no longer out of Arsenal’s price range.
“We do not have any problem with the wages of Wayne Rooney,” said Wenger. “But it’s very difficult for us to talk about any specific case.”
Wenger also spoke on whether he had considered the impact of signing a player from a league rival, mirroring the Robin van Persie saga last summer.
“Do I get the sense United would be unwise or unwilling to sell to a Premier League rival? It happened to us. It can happen to them. Rooney is under contract. He has two years to go. It’s [Manchester] United who make a decision.”
Rooney’s future came into question this week when Chelsea made an unsuccessful bid for the England striker, with rumours that David Luiz or Juan Mata had been offered in return being rubbished by the Blues.
The 27-year-old forward is believed to be angry over comments made by his manager David Moyes suggesting that Rooney will not be first-choice at the club, and Rooney could hand in another transfer request to try and force a move away from the club.