Wenger keen on Parker
Published 17/05/2011 | 05:00
West Ham midfielder Scott Parker is a key target for Arsene Wenger this summer, with the Arsenal manager finally prepared to break his self-imposed restriction on signing older players to long-term contracts.
Parker (30) will be sold this summer as West Ham, relegated on Sunday, divest themselves of their highest earners. While Wenger has a policy of not buying players in their 30s -- apart from exceptional short-term signings -- he is understood to be given to reconsidering after another season in which his squad's lack of experience was telling.
Parker, voted Player of the Year by the English Football Writers' Association this season, would be amenable to a move to Arsenal. He is expected to be sold for around £6m and would want a three-year contract at the very least, given that his current West Ham deal has three years to run.
Among his current group of midfielders, Wenger is expected to sanction the sale of Denilson and Tomas Rosicky this summer. Ideally, Parker would play alongside Jack Wilshere in midfield, reprising their successful partnership for England against Wales in March's Euro 2012 qualifier. It would appear Cesc Fabregas' move to Barcelona is by no means a certainty with the Spanish champions exerting nothing like the interest they did last summer.
The interest in Parker represents a changing attitude from Wenger towards his squad. Tottenham had a £7m bid for Parker rejected in January but they are less interested now because of the recent progress of midfielder Sandro.