Following the sale of club captain Thomas Vermaelen, Arsene Wenger is on the lookout for a centre back signing to bolster his squad ahead of the upcoming season. The midfield also needs strengthening but Gunners fans may be disappointed to hear that marquee names are not being considered.
Arsene Wenger wants to sign Olympiakos defender Kostas Manolas for cover at the back having already offloaded Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona, according to a report in The Mail. While the Gunners boss has three frontline centre backs at his disposal in Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and youngster Calum Chambers, with the former two expected to form the first team partnership, he wants additional cover in the area and the 23-year-old Greek international could fit the bill.
The only issue would be to persuade the Greek World Cup player to accept a squad player berth with limited first team opportunities.
An alternative solution been considered for the centre back shortage is Germany’s Benedikt Howedes, according to The Independent. The Schalke captain had a hugely impressive World Cup having played in every minute of the victorious campaign. While he featured at left back for the National team the versatile defender usually lines out in the centre. His arrival at the Emirates would provide serious competition to the incumbent partnership of compatriot Per Mertesacker and Frenchman Laurent Koscielny
It seems that Wenger has given up the idea of landing a high profile star at midfield, with previous targets Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira and Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho apparently too pricey for the Frenchman’s liking.
The Mirror reports that he is looking at the more mundane option of Newcastle United’s Cheick Tiote. Arsenal fans will remember the Ivorian international as the man who scored a scorching volley against them to earn his side a 4-4 draw in an epic comeback.
The tough tacking former FC Twente player would be available for a fee of about £8 million and it would appear, after a number of rebuffs, that this time Alan Pardew is willing to do business.
Dan O’Mahony, Pundit Arena.