Sunday 25 September 2016

Arsene Wenger to launch £9m bid for Napoli defender Faouzi Ghoulam

Published 30/06/2015 | 08:20

Wanted man: Faouzi Ghoulam is a target for the Gunners
Wanted man: Faouzi Ghoulam is a target for the Gunners

Arsenal are in pole position to sign Faouzi Ghoulam... and will reportedly make a £9 million offer shortly.

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The Metro claims the Napoli left-back is also being closely monitored by Chelsea and Manchester City, but that the Gunners are favourites to complete the signing.

Wenger will, apparently, launch a £9 million offer for the 24-year-old Algeria international defender this week.

Arsenal have ended their interest in Chile international Arturo Vidal as Arsène Wenger reviews whether he still needs another central midfielder this summer.

Today's Daily Telegraph reports that the main issue is the defensive midfield role currently occupied by Francis Coquelin. Mikel Arteta would be the natural back-up but he is still in negotiations about signing a new contract while Arsenal would be open to offers for Mathieu Flamini.

That essentially leaves only Jack Wilshere, who performed strongly in that role for England, but has had significant injury problems and is seen as more of an attacking midfielder by Wenger. Juventus's Vidal has been monitored closely over the past year but would be a similar profile of box-to-box player as Aaron Ramsey.

It could be that Arsenal will still enter the bidding, with Wenger overseeing a budget this summer of around £50 million. That includes wages, and he has already spent £10 million on signing Petr Cech from Chelsea.

Wenger has also had second thoughts about acquiring Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin, who is on the verge of joining Manchester United instead.

However, The London Evening Standard claims Arsenal are still one of several clubs keen on Sporting Lisbon and Portugal international William Carvalho, and The Daily Star even goes as far as to say that Wenger will make a £20 million bid soon.

The Metro reports that Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny are both wanted by Spanish clubs. Monreal is being chased by Atletico Bilbao while new Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez is keen to partner Koscielny alongside Raphael Varane at the heart of the Real backline.

And finally, Arsenal have made a £13 million bid to sign unsettled Zenit Saint Petersburg defender Ezequiel Garay, according to The Star.

Manchester United and Chelsea are also apparently keen, but reports suggest the Gunners have now made a £13 million opening offer.

Garay is believed to be keen on the switch to north London, but Zenit are determined to play hardball and drive up the cost.

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