Eight In, Eight Out: Arsenal ready to invest £200m in new talent as Arsene Wenger starts rebuilding process
Arsene Wenger looks set to put pen to paper on a new Arsenal contract and the Daily Mirror claim the long-serving Gunners boss is ready to begin an extensive rebuilding process this summer.
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The club’s ability to attract big names will be blunted if they fail to secure a top four finish and as this source points out, Wenger will more than likely see both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez leave for pastures new.
With that in mind Wenger’s chief concern lies in the final third and the Daily Mirror outlines a number of top striking options that are on the veteran coach’s wish-list.
Top of that list is AS Monaco youngster Kylian Mbappé, the impressive teenager having drawn comparisons to former Arsenal great Thierry Henry.
It will take a fee in the region of £60m to win the race for the 18-year-old, who has already scored 19 goals in all competitions, and Wenger continues to pursue Lyon goal-machine Alexandre Lacazette.
Another striker on Wenger’s radar is Celtic front-man Moussa Dembele, the forward having scored a whopping 32 goals this term.
As far as replacements for German playmaker Mesut Ozil, one option that is named by this source comes in the form of Ozil’s national team compatriot Marco Reus, who could well be ready to consider a fresh challenge with Borussia Dortmund some way off the Bundesliga title pace.
At the back Wenger is eyeing up wide men Kieran Tierney, Celtic’s impressive left-back, and Valencia’s Jose Luis Gaya, two strong attack minded full-backs.
Wenger will also look to freshen up his options between the sticks with youngsters Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland seen as replacements for David Ospina.
Arsenal are also hot on the heels of Everton midfielder Ross Barkley but will be aware of a great deal of suitors they’ll need to see off in order to land the England international, who is sure to cost a hefty sum in excess of £40m to land.
As well as the likely loss of Ozil and Sanchez, two players with just over a year left on their respective contracts, Wenger will sacrifice a number of under-performing talents.
Welsh international Aaron Ramsey has come in for a great deal of abuse over the past 18 months and Wenger is ready to offload the midfielder.
Man City are keeping a close eye on loaned out injury prone star Jack Wilshere and Man United are reportedly interested in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Wenger has proven in the past he is willing to sell players to Premier League rivals.
Left-back pair Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs could be sold with neither player proving particularly effective this term.
The potential loss of Ozil and Sanchez could prove a major blow for the North London side.
Whilst 28-year-old former Real Madrid man Ozil hasn’t been in the best of form this term there is no denying that on his day the World Cup winner is hugely effective, the Arsenal man finishing 2015/16 as the Premier League’s leading assist-maker.
Alexis will be another player who could prove impossible to replace, the Chilean having racked up no less than 18 goals and nine assists in Premier League action alone this term.
Arsenal fans may well question the wisdom in continuing with Wenger after a decade plus run without a major title and some will be apoplectic with rage about his continued to reign at the club.
Wenger has seen his side suffer a major drop in form of late, losing six of their last nine fixtures across all competitions.
Arsenal currently sit in sixth place in the Premier League table, six points from the top four, with a key clash at home to Man City following the international break which will soon be followed by a crucial FA Cup semi-final encounter with the same opponents. Two matches that could shape what has already proven a tough season.