Arsenal are considering a summer transfer bid for West Ham United star Aaron Cresswell, reports The Sun.
The left-back has had a stunning debut season with the Hammers after joining from Ipswich in a £4 million deal last summer. His form has drawn the interest of Manchester City but now Arsenal are ready to battle them for his signature.
Manuel Pellegrini, who faces an uncertain future at the Etihad, highlighted Cresswell as a candidate to boost City's homegrown players. They would have to pay big money for the 25-year-old with the same report claiming Sam Allardyce would be looking for more than treble what he paid for him last summer. It is thought a fee could reach as high as £15m.
Cautious over City
But Cresswell will be cautious if City come calling. Scott Sinclair followed a similar route and saw his career stopped by a lack of first-team football. It is likely a similar fate would await him, but there is no doubt big money will be on offer.
Arsenal could offer Creswell more first-team action, but it would mean the end of days for Nacho Monreal of Kieran Gibbs. The two left-backs have been jostling for place under Arsene Wenger this season with the Spaniard currently held higher in the manager's eyes.
The end of the road
Gibbs' development last season suggested that he could come on to emulate Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy, but he now finds himself on the bench as much as on the pitch. The signing of Creswell would further harm his chances of becoming an established starter.
It is, however, worth considering that Monreal, 29, is almost four years older than Gibbs and does not help to fill Arsenal's quota of homegrown players. He still has a decent resale value and clubs in Spain would be interested.
Last year it was reported that Valencia, Real Sociedad and Granada were vying to bring him back to La Liga. Arsenal paid £8.5 million to sign him from Malaga so an offer in excess of that could convince Wenger to sell.
Cresswell would be stiff competition for both Gibbs and Monreal, but it is more than likely that Wenger would let one of them leave should Creswell arrive.
Who would Arsenal fans prefer to see in their squad next season: Gibbs or Monreal? Or should Arsene Wenger forget about signing Creswell and stick with what he's got? Give us your views in the comment box!
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