Arsene Wenger recently commented that he was pleased with the business conducted by the club this transfer window. The purchases, he felt, strengthened his squad considerably.
While the departures of 27-year-old left back Kieran Gibbs to Watford at a fee significantly reduced from the £15m the Hornets were quoted at the start of the summer. With the player’s wage demands higher than the Hertfordshire club were willing to pay, Arsenal moved on the fee to ensure the deal was completed.
At the same time, Lucas Perez, 28, is set to end his curiously short time in north London. A return to his beloved Deportivo is the Spaniard’s ideal but may have to be on an initial year-long loan.
However, two players Wenger does not want to lose, are the subject of considerable interest. Late last week, Inter Milan began moves for German centre back Shkodran Mustafi, 25, and are encouraged by Arsenal’s willingness to talk a deal. However, the stumbling block is likely to be the Gunners refusal to consider offers below the £34m they paid to Valencia for the World Cup winner.
The final player of the quartet is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Three Premier League clubs want the England midfielder with Liverpool leading the way. The Reds are 1/2 with bookmakers to land the player who is in the final year of his contract.
It’s by no means certain though; Chelsea and Manchester City are also keen to land the 24-year-old who is frustrated with the lack of opportunities to play in his favoured central midfield role at the Emirates.