Arsenal target four players for summer transfer recruitment drive.
Arsenal have major plans for this summer, with Arsene Wenger told he must spend the £70m at his disposal according to the Daily Mirror.
The Gunners boss has a shortlist of top players in mind for his recruitment drive come the end of the season, but is concerned that the players will not be willing to join unless Arsenal again qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
The Mirror claims the top target is Stevan Jovetic, a Fiorentina forward rapidly blossoming into one of Europe’s elite. His career has many parallels with that of Robin Van Persie, who of course left for Manchester United last summer, and his technique, powerful shot and quick feet would make him an excellent acquisition – but he would likely cost a rather large chunk of the £70m should Wenger bid.
A separate Mirror article reveals that the Gunners have been watching Jovetic on a weekly basis, and remain hopeful of a deal this summer.
Elsewhere, Wenger is reportedly looking to strengthen in the goalkeeper, right back and defensive midfielder positions.
The goalkeeping position is something that has dogged the Gunners for quite some time.
Their last few goalkeepers Manuel Almunia, Lukasz Fabianski and Wojciech Szczesny could all be described the same way: spectacularly brilliant and error-prone in equal measures. Acquiring a top level custodian would allow Szczesny to develop outside the limelight for a time, and the likes of FC Barcelona star Victor Valdes, Stoke City’s Asmir Begovic and Hamburger SV stopper Rene Adler have been mooted as potential signings.
With Bacary Sagna regularly linked with a transfer exit this summer, Daryl Jalmaat of Feyenoord has been scouted.
The final target is a defensive midfielder to offer the back four some much needed protection. Etienne Capoue of Toulouse is the primary option for Wenger, but again, all these signings likely depend on the club’s finish in the Premier League this season – which is becoming more important than ever.
Of course, the Gunners have qualified for Europe’s top competition in each of the last fifteen seasons, and the knockout stages in each of the last ten campaigns.
None of Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City or Tottenham Hotspur can match that record, though of course Chelsea and Man Utd have won the competition in the last decade.
Still, however impressive Arsenal’s past form has been, qualifying for the Champions League is more important than ever over the next two seasons.
In 2014, many of Arsenal’s commercial deals expire, and their large payments towards their stadium debt come to an end.
If they can stay in the UEFA Champions League until then, they could have enormous coffers to spend. If not, they may find themselves playing catchup with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City – and even the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Everton.
At the same time, only second tier players may be willing to join the Gunners if they are not able to challenge the elite, and Arsene Wenger will be well aware of just how crucial Arsenal’s remaining eight fixtures are.