Arsene Wenger is finally ready to splash some cash after 10 years of being constrained by the £380m construction bill for the Emirates.
The Frenchman is starting to feel the heat after five trophyless seasons in North London and has identified bringing in defensive reinforcements as his highest priority this summer. The Gunners conceded too many goals last season and replacements are needed urgently for William Gallas, Sol Campbell and Mikael Silvestre who are all expected to leave at the end of the month.
Wenger has plenty of financial muscle to flex with a reported transfer kitty of £30m and more to come if Cesc Fabregas makes his big-money move to Spain. The Gunners made a £45.5m profit last year putting them in a stronger position than their rivals to garner some of Europe’s best talent in their quest to land silverware next season.
False rumours are rife but here are two players almost certainly set for a move to Arsenal this summer.
Phil Jagielka – Everton
The Toffees’ centre half was harshly overlooked by Fabio Capello for his World Cup squad but has nonetheless looked impressive in an England shirt. At 27, he has a good mix of youth and experience and possesses proven pedigree in the top flight.
David Moyes will fight to keep Jagielka at Goodison Park but the defender will want to push his club to sell in order to progress his career. A fee in the region of £15m is understood to be what’s needed in order to prise him away from the North West.
Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax)
The 22-year-old has had an excellent season in the Eredivisie with Ajax who only narrowly missed out on the title.
The Dutch international has been tracked by Wenger for at least a year now and is desperate to make the move to a more high profile league than in his native Holland. He has also stated a desire to link up with his good friend and compatriot Robin Van Persie at the Emirates this summer.
The attacking right back comes with a £10m price tag although this could increase substantially if he can help propel Holland to the latter stages of the World Cup in South Africa.
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