Arsene Wenger is reevaluating his interest in both William Carvalho and Sami Khedira as concerns grow for Mikel Arteta, reports The Daily Telegraph.
The Arsenal captain was seen leaving Turkey in a protective boot after sustaining an ankle injury against Besiktas on Tuesday night. Initial reports suggest the player could be out for around two weeks, but Wenger hinted it could be longer.
Speaking in his press conference on Thursday morning, Wenger said: "If it's a long-term injury that puts us in a position where we have to be creative."
According to Telegraph correspondent Jeremy Wilson, "creative" means a new signing with both Khedira and Carvalho landing on Wenger's shortlist. Arsenal have been linked with both players this summer, and Wenger is now weighing up a bid to sign one of the two in the last 11 days of the transfer window.
Khedira seemed to be closing in on a move to Arsenal shortly after the World Cup, but reportedly collapsed due to excessive wage demands from the Real Madrid star. Since then, the 27-year-old's position at the Bernabeu has become virtually untenable.
He has reportedly been told by Carlo Ancelotti that if he stays, he will get hardly any game time. With just one-year left on his contract, Real Madrid are now prepared to accept as little as £12 million for Khedira; half the price of their original £24 million request.
A move for Carvalho is also being planned out with some reports claiming that Arsenal had a £20 million bid knocked back by Sporting Lisbon. Carvalho has also drawn interest from Chelsea and Manchester United this summer, but the 22-year-old remains a Sporting player.
That may be down to the fact that he, like most Sporting players, is owned by a third party company. Arsenal would have to agree a deal with both Sporting and the external company to seal Carvalho's signature.
Louis van Gaal experienced the same problem when trying to agree a deal with Marcos Rojo. Although Rojo has now completed his move to Old Trafford, the transfer came within a whisker of collapse as Sporting and management company Doyen Sports disagreed over the fee.
Carvalho can be purchased in a heartbeat, but Wenger must meet Carvalho's £37 million release clause to do it. With no experience in the top flight and with Wenger already spending over £60 million this summer, the transfer budget won't extend to such an offer with Kostas Manolas also looking set to sign before the window closes.
Champions League play-off
Unfortunately for Arsenal, Wenger wants to wait to see if the Gunners can seal qualification into the Champions League before making any more signings. The financial impact of crashing out against Besiktas would be noticeable and leave Wenger fighting to balance to books.
Even if Arsenal do qualify next Wednesday evening, they will have just five days left to negotiate final transfers. Carvalho's situation may prove too complicated leaving Khedira as the most likely addition before the window closes.