Arsenal Transfer Targets
Friday 9 June 09:39 Tweet
Arsenal finished outside the top four for the first time in 20 years under Arsene Wenger, they succumbed to a 10-2 aggregate defeat against Bayern Munich but will be buoyed by their FA Cup Final victory over Chelsea. However, their lack of Champions League football leaves doubts in their star man Alexis Sanchez. Can Arsenal bring in the best talent while keeping their best players as they try to battle in the Premier League and Europa League? We take a look at their summer transfer targets.
Riyad Mahrez announced his intentions to leave Leicester City this summer after a superb spell with the Foxes, being promoted to the Premier League, winning the Premier League and helping Leicester progress to the Champions League quarter-finals. Arsenal is keen on taking the Algerian winger with Arsene Wenger refusing to rule out a move for the 26-year-old.
Mahrez had a frustrating Premier League season for Leicester as they struggled to recreate their brilliance from the 2015/16 season, which is understandable. The 26-year-old netted just six goals and added three assists in 36 league games for Leicester last season, a significant decrease on his 17 league goals and 11 assists in the previous season. However, Mahrez performed to the levels we were used to in 2015/16 throughout his Champions League campaign, scoring four goals and adding two assists in nine Champions League games.
It may be difficult to bring in the Algerian playmaker, who has admitted he has hopes of moving to a club playing in the Champions League.
I want to play Champions League every year, I want to be at a big club and win trophies, that's my target.
Arsenal will be without Champions League football for the first time in 20 years, so Mahrez may have reservations about joining the Gunners but you'd imagine they will battle for the top four and possibly win the Europa League next season. The Gunners are willing to spend the £35m fee Leicester are demanding for him, but ultimately if a bigger club than Arsenal come calling, he may decide to avert moving to the Emirates.
Probable Transfer Fee: £35-40M
New Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde is planning a mass overhaul of his squad as they plan on reclaiming the La Liga from Real Madrid in 2017/2018. Arda Turan is expected to be one of the players to leave Barcelona who hasn't made his mark on the squad since his transfer in 2016. Turan has made 55 appearances for Barcelona in all comps over the last two seasons, a suitable amount of games considering his competition is Messi, Neymar and Iniesta.
However, Valverde is not keen on the Turkey playmaker with Arsenal waiting in the wings for Turan and have been heavily linked with a move, with Barcelona expected to ask for around £20m. The 30-year-old made 26 appearances for Barcelona in all comps, netting 11 goals, four of which coming in the Champions League. His best performance for the Catalan club came in their 4-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach in December as he scored a hat-trick in 17 minutes.
It's hard to envisage Arsenal wanting both Riyad Mahrez and Arda Turan. Mahrez represents better value due to his Premier League experience and his age, while Turan turns 31 in January and arguably his best years are behind him. Mahrez is yet to hit his peak performance, he would be a better purchase for Arsenal but that may not be in their hands should he choose another club; if Mahrez turns Arsenal down, Arda Turan would be an effective plan B.
Probable Transfer Fee: £20-25M
Both north London clubs are heavily interested in signing Monaco winger Thomas Lemar. L'Equipe claim that Arsenal has entered the race with Spurs to sign the 21-year-old. Arsene Wenger has said he wants to make three new signing ahead of the 2017/18 campaign, if they can bring in Thomas Lemar without Champions League football, it'll be an excellent signing.
According to reports, Lemar is attracted to joining Arsenal as several French players have flourished for the Gunners under Arsene Wenger. The Monaco winger, who primarily plays on the left flank, was a huge part of Monaco's success in Ligue 1 and Champions League, netting 14 goals and 14 assists in 51 games. With Arsenal switching between 3-4-2-1 and 4-2-3-1, it's clear that Lemar can play as an attacking left winger or Wenger could use him as left wing-back.
The Gunners face a tough task, though. They face stiff competition from Juventus and Tottenham for the signature of Thomas Lemar, but Monaco would be ready to accept €30 million (£26 million) for the French international. If reports are true that Lemar is prepared to be without Champions League football for next season and head to Arsenal, it will be a coup for a club that can still bring in talent despite being out of Europe's major club competition. The fee is relatively small for a player who had an excellent season in both Ligue 1 and Champions League, but it's unclear whether Monaco will sell Kylian Mbappe, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Fabinho, Thomas Lemar and Bernardo Silva in one summer.
Probable Transfer Fee: £25-35M
It's a longshot, but according to reports, Arsenal is keen on bringing France wonder-kid Kylian Mbappe to the Emirates Stadium this summer. Mbappe is reported to be worth around £120 million to Monaco, with the Ligue 1 champions already rejecting a world-record bid from Real Madrid for the 18-year-old forward. If Arsenal is battling Real Madrid for the French international, it's very tough to see how Arsenal can compete with the La Liga and Champions League winners for the hottest prospect in world football.
Is it just smoke and mirrors from Arsene Wenger, showing the Arsenal fans that they have the money available to go in for these types of players; or is it genuine? If so, where was this money in seasons gone by? Luis Suarez in 2013 could have been bought for this type of money. Gonzalo Higuain in 2013. Alexandre Lacazette in the last two summer transfer windows.
There has been much speculation that if they sell Alexis Sanchez to Bayern Munich or Man City, reportedly worth between £40-50 million, then they could afford Kylian Mbappe. The 18-year-old is highly coveted after his breakthrough season for Monaco where he netted 21 goals, 15 coming in Ligue 1 and six in the Champions League with 26 goals in 44 games in all competitions as Monaco lifted the Ligue 1 title and reached the semi-finals in the Champions League.
According to reports, it will take around £130 million to prise Kylian Mbappe away from Monaco, a huge sum of money that we're not sure Arsenal will stump up that sort of cash. Even if they can put up £130m, if Kylian Mbappe has a choice between Arsenal and Real Madrid, it's more than likely he'll pick the latter.
Probable Transfer Fee: £120-130M
The transfer saga between Arsenal and Alexandre Lacazette has featured for the last three years, with Arsenal looking like they would get their man last summer only for Lyon to reject a €40 million bid. The Gunners are stepping up the pace as they try to clinch a £50 million deal for the French international. According to reports, Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidas met with Lyon president to try to sort a deal out for Alexandre Lacazette.
Arsenal is in search of a big money signing to prove to the fans they mean business this summer, but the big money signing might come because there are rumours that Alexis Sanchez is set to leave for Bayern Munich or Manchester City. Alexandre Lacazette was set for a move to Atletico Madrid until their summer transfer ban was upheld, the 26-year-old is still hopeful of a move to Atletico in January but remain on-loan at Lyon for the first half of the season but that seems unlikely.
Lacazette stated that a move to the Premier League is interesting but that it's important that the club he moves to plays in the Champions League. Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said back in February that the club won't stand in the way if a player wants to leave and the offer is acceptable, which is good news for Arsenal fans as Wenger and Gazidas are reported to have met with the Lyon president in Nice at his luxury villa in early June.
The 26-year-old has been incredibly consistent for Lyon, scoring 100 goals in 203 Ligue 1 games and netted 37 goals in 45 games in all comps for Lyon last season. Wenger is hoping to lure Lacazette to Arsenal on a £200,000 per week deal. If Arsenal can secure the signing of Lacazette, they'll finally have a top class number 9 but won't want to lose Sanchez, as they would link up well.
Probable Transfer Fee: £50-60M
Note: Odds are subject to change