Arsenal transfer news: Granit Xhaka heads summer recruits
Arsene Wenger gave his strongest hint yet over the weekend that he will sign three players when the transfer market opens for business. Speaking before the Gunners final game of the season - a 4-0 thrashing of Aston Villa - the Frenchman was asked about his transfer plans.
"We want to keep the squad stable over the summer while strengthening where possible," he replied. "Maybe bring in three players for example. That's the right level for me."
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
So who might the trio be? Granit Xhaka, for starters, with the Evening Standard saying that the Swiss midfielder held talks with Borussia Monchengladbach on Sunday "as he looks to complete his move to Arsenal ahead of the European Championships".
The Gunners submitted a £33.8m bid for the 23-year-old Xhaka last week and the Standard says he "received a standing ovation from Monchengladbach fans on Saturday in what appeared to be his final game at the club".
Over at the Daily Express, the man in the Gunners sights is Swansea defender Ashley Williams. Admitting that the news is a "surprise", the paper claims that despite the fact the Wales captain will be 32 in August Wenger "sees him as the hard man and leader the Gunners need". The Swans are also willing to cash in on their ageing skipper if the Gunners are prepared to cough up £20m.
The Daily Star says that Arsenal will battle it out with Liverpool for the right to sign Chris Taylor from Leeds United. The Championship side are "desperate" to hang on to the 22-year-old, described by the Star as a "gifted left-back" but the prospect of playing in the Premier League will be too tempting to turn down for the defender.
Finally, the BBC reports that Arsenal confirmed on Sunday that Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky will be leaving the club this summer after 15 years of combined service. The two midfielders have both been plagued by injury in recent seasons, and Arteta is expected to move into coaching, with Manchester City a possible destination for the Spaniard.
Arsenal transfer news: Henrikh Mkhitaryan deal to kick off spree
The endgame is approaching as far as Arsenal and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are concerned, with the player's agent telling German rag Bild that his future will be resolved shortly.
The attacking midfielder, described by Talksport as a "top target" for the Gunners, has scored 23 goals in 49 appearances for Borussia Dortmund this season. Not surprisingly, says the broadcaster, the Armenian ace has attracted interest from a host of clubs but Arsenal are believed to be at the front of the queue to sign the Mkhitaryan.
Asked about the likely destination of the 27-year-old, agent Mino Raiola told Bild: "Nothing has been decided. But in the next ten days, there should be more clarity."
James Rodriguez is in the news again, a day after he was linked to a move from Real Madrid to Manchester City. This time it's Arsenal who are said to be on the tail of the 24-year-old, although according to Metro he would cost the Gunners £120,000-a-week in wages.
The Colombian attacking midfielder doesn't come cheap despite the fact that he has failed to fire at the Bernabeu since his £63m move back in 2014. Spanish newspaper AS says Rodriguez "could be tempted to move on" in the summer and the paper adds that Arsenal "are ready to make a bid". But will they be able to afford his wages if, as the Mirror reports, the Gunners are close to agreeing a contract extension with Mesut Ozil that will make the German playmaker "their first £200,000-a-week player ever"?
Over at the Daily Express there's a report that Arsenal "have joined the race" to sign Mario Gotze from Bayern Munich. Liverpool and Juventus are both known to be monitoring the 23-year-old midfielder but German rag Suddeutsche Zeitung claims that the Gunners are "weighing up a bid for the Germany international", and believe that £20m will be enough to bring him to the Emirates.
Arsenal transfer news: Alvaro Morata the priority after Welbeck woe
It is now a case of when, not if, Arsenal sign Granit Xhaka with all the papers agreeing that the Gunners are going to get their man after several months of whispers.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Arsene Wenger has had his scouts watch the 23-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder "a staggering 30 times this season" and the paper says that the Gunners gaffer is "believed to be lining up a £30m move". The Sun, meanwhile, puts the figure at £34m, claiming that the offer has already been made with Wenger "desperate to conclude a deal" for the Swiss international soon as possible.
Apparently Monchengladbach have resigned themselves to losing Xhaka, who they signed from Basel in 2012, and are just going to try and squeeze Arsenal for as much as they possibly can. The Daily Mail reckons that Arsenal may have to pay as much as £35m for the young star, who expected to sign for either four or five years, but the paper says the north London club are in advanced talks with the player and "all parties are confident the deal will be completed".
Another man on the Gunners' radar is Juventus marksman Alvaro Morata, a chase that will be intensified says the Daily Mirror in light of Danny Welbeck's latest injury disaster. The England hitman is out for at least nine months after suffering a serious cartilage injury at the weekend, and as a result says the Mirror, it will "push the Gunners into the market this summer" with the Juventus sharpshooter their priority.
The Daily Star, however, fingers Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi as the man to replace Welbeck with the paper saying the Gunners will need to find £30m to beat off competition from West Ham and Tottenham.
The name Lukaku has been bandied about in recent weeks as a target for Chelsea and Manchester United, and now Arsenal have joined the hunt for the Belgian. But before Gooners get too carried away at the prospect of welcoming Romelu Lukaku to the Emirates next season - the Daily Star warns that it's Jordan Lukaku who is being linked to Arsenal.
The younger brother of the highly-rated Everton striker currently plays for Belgian outfit Oostende, and the Star says the 21-year-old left-back "is keen on a summer switch to play under Arsene Wenger".
Arsenal transfer news: Jorginho hints at Napoli exit
The chances of the Gunners landing Napoli midfielder Jorginho have received a boost, reports the Daily Express, after the player's agent declared that his future in Italy was by no means certain.
Apparently the 24-year-old playmaker is being chased by a number of clubs having helped Napoli qualify for the Champions League next season. Arsenal are known to have sent scouts to Naples to watch the Brazilian-born Italy international in action, and Jorginho's agent, Joao Santos, had this to say about his client's future when asked by Italian broadcaster Radip Crc: "Given the season he's had, it's normal that some clubs are interested in Jorginho... If he were to be sold it would be to make a profit for the club."
In what could be construed as a dig at Napoli coach Maurizo Sarri, Jorginho's agent warned that the fact the player had signed an contract extension earlier in the season counted for little: "Unfortunately that's modern football, you can renew and then leave two months later."
Arsenal's latest target has been revealed by the Bolton News, which has discovered that the Gunners are trying to prise Rob Holding from Bolton Wanderers.
Apparently the Championship club (who have just been relegated to League One) "have rejected Arsenal's opening offer" and are determined to hold out for their asking price of £7m.
The Gunners submitted last week what the News describes as "a bonus-heavy offer of £2m, rising to nearly £5m". That's not enough for the Trotters to let him leave the Macron Stadium this summer, although it's believed the north London club will up their offer and walk away with the 20-year-old Holding as a result.
Arsenal transfer news: Exit fears over Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott
Juventus are the latest club to join the hunt for Alexis Sanchez with The Sun claiming that Arsenal "could face a battle to keep" the Chilean winger this summer.
Rumours have been circulating for a while that Sanchez has grown disillusioned with life at the Emirates after another season of underachievement.
Bayern Munich and Manchester City have been referenced as possible suitors although the latter are unlikely to land the South American sorcerer if they fail to qualify for the Champions League next season. The Sun cites sources in Italy who claim that Juventus are now also eager to sign Sanchez, having failed to beat Barcelona to his hand when he left Udinese in 2011.
And another player who could be emptying his Emirates locker in the coming weeks is Theo Walcott. Manchester City were linked to the wasteful winger last month but according to the Daily Mail, West Ham will offer "Walcott regular first-team football in a bid to lure him from Arsenal".
Hammers boss Slaven Bilic believes he can tempt the 27-year-old to the club, not just by the prospect of more game time but also the fact that as of next season West Ham will be playing in the Olympic Stadium. The Mail says that the Gunners "are bracing themselves for a bid", but provided it's a big one they're prepared to let Walcott go.
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.