There is a report this morning in the Mail that gives a fascinating insight into the way that Stan Kroenke will be running Arsenal in the new era of ownership, and Rob Draper appears to have some inside knowledge of how the new regime will work.
He says that Arsene Wenger has £35m in his “transfer proceeds account” which will have to cover not only his purchases but the wages of any new additions to the squad. For that reason, Draper says that Wenger’s priority is to ring in Per Mertesacker rather than Bolton’s Gary Cahill, for the simple reason that he will cost only £10m as opposed to Cahill for £20m.
He goes on to say that it is unlikely that Wenger will have another attempt to buy Pepe Reina as he would prefer the (cheaper and younger) Manuel Neuer if he doesn’t decide to stick with Szczesny and Fabianski. The cost of Reina’s transfer fee and wages would take nearly the whole of Wengers transfer war chest, but it looks like Neuer has decided to stay in Germany with Bayern Munich.
Wenger’s other big worry is that Gael Clichy will refuse to sign a new contract and will force Wenger into a sale, so a replacement will become imperative. This has made Leighton Baines of Everton Wenger’s second most-wanted target. The transfer fee should be irrelevant as Wenger should recoup the cost from the sale of Clichy.
The last transfer target, according to Draper, is the Southampton youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, although he may be allowed to stay on the South Coast for another year to help him mature a little longer.