Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is mulling over a shock £50 million double swoop for Serie A duo Marek Hamsik and Mattia Destro, if he can find buyers for both Lukas Podoksk and Joel Campbell in January.
That is according to the Daily Star, who believe that Wenger wants to freshen up his under-performing squad with a surprise move for two players targeted by direct rivals in Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.
The Gunners have been tracking Roma striker Destro for some time and eventually passed on a £20 million bid last summer, in favour of signing Danny Welbeck. Interest in Hamsik is new though and comes pretty much out of the blue, particularly given his lofty status as one of Napoli's undoubted top stars.
Roma still desperate to keep Destro
First and foremost lets deal with Arsenal's continued pursuit of Destro. The Italian international has cut an increasingly frustrated figure over the last 12 months, primarily because he can't nail down a place in Roma's starting XI.
The evergreen Francesco Totti has effectively forced Destro to consider his long-term future, but the 23-year-old is still highly thought of in the Eternal City and won't be going anywhere unless Roma receive a huge offer in January.
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Champions League progress could help Arsenal
Arsenal wouldn't be able to offer Destro guaranteed first-team football, but may be helped in both of these transfer tussles by the continued presence of Champions League football.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger simply always reaches the knockout stages of Europe's top club competition, something Roma and Napoli can only dream of.
Hamsik would be an even more difficult capture than Destro, valued at £30m and under contract until 2018. The terrific Slovakian playmaker turns 28 before the start of next season though, which means Napoli are fast running out of time to cash in on a player who could soon be past his prime if they want to fund any pursuit for his long-term replacement.
Campbell or Podolski on their way out?
Wenger's desire to recruit new talent is of course dependent on shipping on a top earner in Podolski, a player who despite being arguably the most clinical finisher at the club simply can't force his way into the starting XI.
Podolski surely can't tolerate spending any more time on the bench at this crucial juncture in his club career, particularly with strong interest from a number of clubs in a return to the Bundesliga.
Campbell meanwhile has featured even more sparingly since finally joining Arsenal's first-team squad last summer, so don't be at all surprised to be both men shipped out sooner rather than later.
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