Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is considering making a £30 million offer to Southampton for centre-back Dejan Lovren and midfield enforcer Morgan Schneiderlin. Both players are keen to leave the Saints, who have already lost Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana this summer.
This is according to Goal.com, who have exclusively revealed that Wenger wants to bring the Southampton duo to the Emirates Stadium in time for the 2014/15 campaign. However, the Gunners’ manager will hold off from giving the green light to the deal until he receives an answer from Barcelona winger Alexis Sanchez about whether or not he wants to join the north London outfit.
Lovren - Replacement for Vermaelen
Wenger will not allow Belgium international Thomas Vermaelen to leave Arsenal - most likely for Manchester United - until a new centre-back is signed. Lovren, who turns 25 on Saturday, has proven his credentials as a reliable defender during his fantastic debut season with the Saints, but now wants a move to a Champions League club competing for major honours.
The Croatia international submitted a formal transfer request to Southampton on the eve of the World Cup finals in Brazil and hopes to become the latest player from the south-coast club to move on to pastures new this summer.
Schneiderlin - Upgrade on Flamini
Although one-time France international Mathieu Flamini impressed in his first season back at the Emirates Stadium, it’s widely accepted that Schneiderlin - a member of Les Blues’ current World Cup squad - would be a significant upgrade this summer.
The 24-year-old has been at St Mary’s for the past six years, helping the club return to the Premier League from League One in the process, but is ambitious and keen to test himself at the highest level. Like Lovren, Schneiderlin has also informed his current employers that he wants to leave the club.
Morgan Schneiderlin: How good is he?
Will £30m be enough?
Southampton sold Shaw for £27 million and Lallana for £25 million. Considering Lovren and Schneiderlin are also regarded as indispensable members of the Southampton squad, it’s hard to imagine £30 million will be enough to land the services of both players.
Wenger has yet to spend any of his £100 million transfer budget, but will be mindful of the fact that the likes of Karim Benzema, Angel di Maria, Arturo Vidal and the aforementioned Sanchez may be available to sign this summer.
The closer the clock ticks down to the start of the season, the more reluctant Southampton will be to part company with any more of their players. Subsequently, Wenger will need to make a decision over whether to launch the bid for Lovren and Schneiderlin in the near future.