Arsenal will plug the gap left by Gael Clichy’s exit to Manchester City by moving for Real Madrid left-back Marcelo. Wenger is willing to offer £10m for the Brazilian but Real boss Jose Mourinho is likely to push for closer to £15m.
Real Madrid moved today to complete the signing of promising Benfica left-back, Fabio Coentrao, for a whopping £27m, eclipsing new team-mate Pepe’s £25m transfer fee to become the most expensive defender in La Liga history. It is fair to assume therefore that he will be given a starting role.
This leaves Marcelo out in the cold, which seems a little harsh bearing in mind the defender starting every league game last season and became a reliable member of the team.
Wenger sees him as the ideal replacement for Clichy, who most Gunners fans agree was a long way past his best. Gone are the days when the Frenchman’s rampaging forward runs made the bitter taste of Ashley Cole’s departure taste a lot sweeter.
Aged only 25, Clichy can of course regain his form, but if Wenger can snap up Marcelo for around £10m, after pocketing £7m from Clichy, Arsenal fans would be delighted with this bit of business.
Marcelo will inject strength, aggression and reliability into Arsenal’s backline, and contribute pace, energy and power to their attacks.
It is clear to all that Wenger is playing his cards close to his chest, which is a fine strategy until you are left behind by others and see your targets pinched from beneath your nose. Determined not to see this happen again, Wenger will move quickly from the 23-year-old Brazilian international.
This will be the first high profile signing at the Emirates this summer, but it certainly will not be the last. With rumours gathering pace about Samir Nasri’s departure, Wenger will have some serious work on his hands to either keep or replace the mercurial Frenchman.