Lyon have offered Arsenal the chance to sign star forward Alexandre Lacazette for a fee of £21m, according to reports in the Telegraph.
The 24 year old is one of the most wanted strikers in Europe after a stellar campaign during which he scored 31 goals in all competitions.
Arsenal’s interest could hinge on whether Theo Walcott signs a new contract with the England international desperate to be given chances up front.
A move for Lacazette, therefore, would further limit those chances with Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck already at the club and established as the Gunners’ two first choice center forwards.
In what could be a shift in Arsene Wenger’s tactical approach next season, Walcott started through the middle in Arsenal’s 4-0 FA Cup final win over Aston Villa, scoring the opening goal.
A new deal has yet to be announced for Walcott, with his current contract set to expire in 2016, while Lacazette’s runs until 2018.
Talks with Lyon over a new deal broke down after the Frenchman demanded an annual wage of £4.5m, according to the Telegraph, with his agent, David Venditelli, hinting at more lucrative offers elsewhere.
“The offers we’ve had from abroad are very significant in terms of finances,” Venditelli said. “Ultimatums and media pressure won’t change our demands, which OL are aware of.”
Petr Cech signs for Arsenal
Welcome Petr and goodbye…. whoever will leave us this summer from our goalkeepers. Let us start with the latter. I don’t think having 3 top quality keepers hanging around will be the ideal scenario so I think one of Szczesny and Ospina will leave us. Either one leaving us will be a sad moment for me.
I love Szczesny because he feels very much like one of ours and his comments on social media have always shown him to love the club as a fan would do. And OOooooooossspina… well what can you say about him. Apart from his first match in the league cup he looked a great keeper.
He has one of the highest shot stops numbers from keepers in the PL and he also had the same (highest shot stop %) in the current copa America. I loved his calmness and the way he played very much. So if one of them will have to go, I will feel sad about it and whish him the best in the rest of his career.
But the boss has decided that he wanted Cech and so Cech came. The story is that Wenger wanted Cech already when he was still playing in Sparta Prague but that it went wrong in those days. Cech then went to Rennes and in 2004 joined Chelsea.
Well he won all that could be won when the oil or should I say gaz money came in to Chelsea. He is a great keeper and has always been a great keeper in the PL till last season when he lost his place to Courtois. A player that I would have wanted at Arsenal when he came above water in Belgium and where he was amazing in winning the title for Genk in his first season. Well who knows in a few years time we might see him also make the cross over to the red part of London…
But Cech it is for now. 33 years old and that is not too old for a keeper but still most of the time you might think he will lose the sharpest reflexes. But on the other hand Van Der Sar was even older when he joined United and was a wonderful keeper for them all these years. Will we be as lucky as United with him on board?
He won the CL, a few league titles, the FA cup a few times, the league cup and he also won a few personal titles. Three times the golden glove and one of them he had to share with Szczesny. He was voted Czech player of the year seven times and he played 114 times for the Czech national team. He will probably break the record of Poborsky in the next season.
Tomas Rosciky will now have a compatriot at Arsenal with Cech. One can wonder what the influence of Tomas was in this transfer of course.
I think over the last 10 years Cech has been one if not the best and most consistent performer in goal in the PL. Of course playing in front of a team that has been built on strong defensive tactics all these years will have been helfpul to get good stats. We now have to see how he will cope with playing for a team that is going to attack more and defend less or in fewer numbers.
I do admit that for the first time I am not overwhelmed with joy about a new player signing for us because of the reason mentioned at the start of this article. But that he was a keeper that would have cemented a place if he had joined us some 10 years ago, of that I am sure.
His style is the somewhat sobre style of goalkeeping. Not a flashy one but he looks, just like Ospina, usually in control and calm. I hope he can transform that on the defenders so that they feel sure with him behind their back. Something that you have to work out and see how it will go in the future.
One of the really interesting things is that in just over one month his new club (Arsenal) and his old club (Chelsea) stand at Wembley to dispute the community shield. And it will be interesting to see if Wenger plays Cech against his former team and how he performs. A dream scenario would be that he plays and we win of course. That would be the ultimate Mourinho nightmare I think. Mmmm, come to think of it, I would love that scenario very much.
So Arsenal has brought another top class player to North London just as we did the last 2 seasons. Will we get more top class players coming in? Only one man knows and I feel fine to know that Wenger is that man. The squad surely is stronger with Cech and I can imagine that whoever is staying from our current goalkeepers will have to perform at the top level to even stand a chance of making the team. Because I don’t think Wenger will have spent that much money on a goalkeeper and then don’t play him a lot.
We have a new Arsenal player now, and I wish him a very successful career at Arsenal.
Welcome Petr and show the world that you still are the best! Arsenal can only benefit from this.
Winter 2014/2015 transfer rumours
Arsenal winning race as bid confirmed for highly-coveted Man United target
Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has confirmed that Arsenal have lodged a bid for Paulo Dybala’s signature, and admitted they are favoured by the star, the DailyStar reports.
The Argentine has been linked with a host of potential suitors this season, following his club president’s admission that he will be sold this summer, after rejecting a new contract early in 2015.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are all believed to be interested, but Juventus and Arsenal are now confirmed as having made offers.
Zamparini said: “Juventus and Arsenal have already made offers.
“[Pierpaolo] Triulzi, the lad’s agent will be in Italy on Friday. I’m asking for more than €40m [£29m].
“Dybala would prefer to stay in Italy, but the British team Arsenal are the first choice of the lad because of the way Wenger’s team plays.”
The 21 year-old has scored 12 goals in his 27 Serie A appearances so far this season, and has been described as the ‘next Aguero’ and as the ‘best striker in Europe’ by Zamparini previously.
Fellow Argentine Mauro Icardi is also heavily linked with a switch from Serie A to the Premier League, with Chelsea believed to be leading the chase for his signature.
MANCHESTER UNITED are lining up a bid for Arsenal forward Theo Walcott.
Walcott, who has spent the majority of the season on the sidelines due to injury, has one year left on his current contract with the north Londoners.
Arsenal are yet to open talks contract with the former Southampton star, who has found the back of the net three times this season.
And according to reports, the lack of contract negotiations has prompted Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal to take a look at the England international.
The Metro claim the former Bayern Munich chief is a big admirer of the winger and would be ‘keen’ to bring the former Southampton star to Old Trafford this summer.
If United are interested in signing Walcott they will certainly have to splash the cash as the Gunners would be reluctant to let one of their key players leave on the cheap.
However, if they fail to tie down the winger to a new deal he could leave the Emirates next summer for nothing.
Walcott, 26, joined Arsenal in the summer of 2006 and has scored 72 goals in 294 appearances for Arsene Wenger’s side.
Arsenal ‘want to finally complete Marco Reus transfer this summer’
Arsenal are ready to try again to sign Marco Reus this summer after adding him to their list of key transfer targets.
The Gunners have reportedly moved for Borussia Dortmund man Reus in each of the last two windows, but have been unable to do a deal.
Reus recently extended his contract with Dortmund, but the Daily Telegraph says Arsenal will make a move for him this summer.
Arsene Wenger is keen on adding to his attacking options and while Reus would be expensive, he’d be a superb addition.
Nottingham Forest confirm Chuba Akpom loan deal
Nottingham Forest have confirmed Arsenal youngster Chuba Akpom will join the Championship club on loan until the end of the season.
The 19-year-old only recently signed a new deal to keep him at Arsenal until 2019, but has found it hard to acquire game time ever since.
Akpom was afforded a number of opportunities earlier in the season which included an impressive substitute appearance against Aston Villa, but has so far been unable to break into the side with the likes of Welbeck, Walcott, Sanchez and Giroud ahead of him.
The move to is definitely a smart one, and a signal the club recognise Akpom’s potential and that he’s outgrown the youth and reserve level of competition. He is ready for the next step up but Arsenal are unable to offer it just yet.
Forest will be hoping Akpom can live up to his billing as they currently stand 9th in the Championship, ten points off the play-offs and in need of some kind of spark to resurrect their promotion bid with only seven games remaining.
The move will also represent something of a coup for the Championship side and Dougie Freedman with as many as six other clubs chasing his signature.
Akpom is currently on international duty with the England U-20 side, and scored an equaliser in their victory over Mexicon on Wendesday evening.
Arsenal given clearer route to sign Real Madrid ace in the summer
Arsenal fans cannot wait to hear what Metro have to say here in the Football Transfer Tavern as they seem to be under the impression Sami Khedira will be leaving Real Madrid this summer – but has not made his mind up where he will go yet.
As one of our punters notes, there has been much speculation over Khedira’s future over the last few months after it became very clear he would be leaving Real Madrid and not penning a new deal with the current Champions of Europe – and now it seems that the Gunners have a real chance of landing him.
The midfielder noted: ‘I will give everything for this shirt until the last day of my contract, there should be no doubt about that.’
Khedira has claimed he is not yet sure where he will end up but with Chelsea seemingly losing interest in the player, Arsene Wenger has a clear route to land him – should he decide to.
Championship quartet eye Arsenal’s Chuba Akpom
Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom is reportedly the loan target of four Championship clubs.
At the weekend, Nottingham Forest boss Dougie Freedman confirmed his interest in signing the 19-year-old.
However, the Tricky Trees face competition for the forward’s services from league rivals Norwich City, Derby County and Middlesbrough, according to the Daily Mail.
The report added that Derby have also made an approach for Manchester United youngster James Wilson, although a deal is unlikely.
Clubs in the Football League have until Thursday to conclude their loan business.
Emiliano Martinez joins Rotherham on loan
Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has joined Rotherham United on an emergency loan deal until the end of the season, reports the Daily Express.
Martinez made four appearances in the top flight this season while David Ospina and Wojciech Szczesny were both out injured, and he kept two clean sheets and averaged 0.75 saves per game.
The 22-year-old also made two appearances in the Champions League, and kept a clean sheet in the 2-0 win against Borussia Dortmund at home.
The Argentine hasn’t played in the Arsenal first-team since December, and as third-choice goalkeeper, he has little chance of regular football now that Ospina and Szczesny are both fit.
He will compete with Adam Collin for the number one spot at Rotherham, and went straight into the squad for Saturday’s home game against Sheffield Wednesday, who he played for last season on loan. Martinez played 15 games for the Owls in all competitions, and kept two clean sheets in the league.
Rotherham manager Steve Evans is delighted to have brought Martinez to the New York Stadium, saying: “Everyone at the Football Club are delighted to have signed a young man like Damian given the qualities he has and the very impressive CV he has attained in his very early years as a goalkeeper.
“It is only as recently as December that this young man was keeping a clean sheet for Arsenal in the Champions League, and he has of course kept more clean sheets in Premier League matches earlier this season.
“He is very clearly highly thought by the manager and all the staff at Arsenal and I must take the chance to thank Arsene Wenger for his courtesy and professionalism in agreeing to allow this young man to spend some time with us.”
Martinez joined Arsenal from Argentinian club Independiente in 2010, and he has made eight appearances for the Gunners in total. He will hope to impress during his loan spell in the hope of securing more playing time next season.
Arsenal line up surprise transfer deal for £17.7m Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Arsenal reportedly want to sign Borussia Dortmund play-maker Henrikh Mkhitaryan at the end of the season.
Mkhitaryan has been linked with a move away from Dortmund in recent weeks, with Liverpool and Tottenham known to be keen on his services.
But reports in Spain say Arsenal have been scouting him closely and have added his name to their list of targets.
The 26-year-old is believed to be happy to stay put, but Arsenal are on the lookout for another attacking ace, especially if Santi Cazorla departs.
Mkhitaryan would cost about £17.7 million to sign.
City plot shock move for £22M Arsenal star
Manchester City are said to be keen on signing Jack Wilshere at the end of the season.
The Premier League champions are looking to add homegrown talents to their squad over the summer and have put the 23-year-old on top of their list, according to the Sunday Mirror.
Wilshere has struggled to stay fit this season, making just 10 starts, and faces a battle to get back intoArsene Wenger’s first-team plans.
In recent years, City have signed Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna, Emmanuel Adebayor and Samir Nasri from the Gunners and Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira is also their Elite Developments coach.
The England international’s future has been clouded with some uncertainty after a few incidents off the pitch, with pictures emerging of him smoking on holiday, but still has three-years left to run on his existing deal at the Emirates – meaning prising Wilshere away from the Emirates will not be easy.
Despite his off-field behaviour, Wilshere, who is valued at £22 million by Transfermarkt.com, is highly-rated by Wenger and the fans, and unless an offer too good to turn down is tabled, the tenacious midfielder will remain at Arsenal.