Signs suggest Arsene Wenger is in for a very busy summer.
Arsenal’s veteran manager has long been under pressure to splash the cash on world-class signings in the transfer window, and it seems he’s willing to comply.
Following much speculation, Granit Xhaka’s arrival at the Emirates Stadium was confirmed on Wednesday for a fee believed to be in the region of £30 million.
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What a start for the Gunners - and it seems the best is yet to come.
According to the Independent, Real Madrid have told Arsenal how much they will have to pay to sign Alvaro Morata this summer.
The quoted fee is £38 million, with Los Blancos set to activate the Spanish striker’s £23.6 million release clause and sell him on to the Gunners for a profit - or any other suitor for that matter.
The ball is now well and truly in Arsenal’s court, and given their need for a new striker, they must surely pursue Morata’s signature.
Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott managed a paltry 25 goals between them in the Premier League last season, which would be expected from a title-winning side’s leading striker.
You need look no further than Leicester City’s title success for evidence of this, with Jamie Vardy finding the back of the net 24 times for his side in the 2015/16 term.
Arsenal’s chances of signing Morata were bolstered recently after reports suggested he would jump at the chance to join them should Real bring him back to the Bernabeu.
Regardless, reinforcing his side's attacking options isn’t the only task at hand for Wenger following a season where defensive frailties cost them dearly.
A 4-0 defeat to Southampton particularly highlighted this point, with the general consensus being that a new centre-back is needed in north London.
Petr Cech’s £10 million arrival last summer proved an excellent piece of business for Arsenal yet even he couldn’t stop a number of poor goals from being conceded.
The Gunners have three solid defenders in Laurent Koscielny, Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal, but doubts remain over Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista, with the latter a particular source of frustration amongst fans.
For every superb tackle the Brazilian makes, a dangerous and ill-judged one soon follows. He’s quite clearly cut from the same cloth as Koscielny, but whether he’s good enough to play in a title-winning side’s defence remains to be seen.
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