ARSENAL TRANSFER RUMOURS: M’Vila, Capoue, Kalou, Hoilett, Dembele, Udjus Involved In Latest Speculation
By Jason Le Miere | May 24, 2012 3:45 AM EST
After a summer in which he was roundly criticized for his hesitancy in the transfer market, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger appears to be adopting a much more proactive strategy to the club's dealings this time around.
Currently awaiting a decision from their number one target this close season, Yann M'Vila, Wenger is eager to avoid a similar situation to last year where he was forced to buy a host of players as the transfer window came crashing to a close.
The Times reports on Wednesday that Arsenal is eagerly pursuing fellow defensive midfielder Etienne Capoue in the event that a deal cannot be reached with M'Vila.
Capoue has had a strong season for Toulouse and is highly regarded for his defensive capabilities as well and passing ability. Yet to be capped at senior level by France, Capoue would likely be a cheaper option to the £17 million-rated M'Vila.
Arsenal could also make a cut-price deal for Chelsea's Salomon Kalou this summer. The 26-year-old's contract expires at the end of June and Arsenal is said to be interested in taking him to the Emirates, according to the Mirror.
Goal.com reports that Kalou will sit down to discuss the potential of staying at Stamford Bridge next week.
With Andrey Arshavin's future still uncertain following his loan spell at Zenit St Petersburg and no deal yet in place for Yossi Benayoun, the Gunners could well be short in the wide forward berth next season. While Kalou could be a shrewd signing, Wenger is also said to be looking at the costlier option of Junior Hoilett.
The shining light as Blackburn was relegated from the Premier League last season, the 21-year-old looks likely to be moving on from Ewood Park this summer. And Arsenal are long-standing admirers, claim the Mail.
Like Kalou, Hoilett can operate on either the right or the left side and is also capable of playing behind a main striker.
Also said to be on Wenger's radar is the versatile Moussa Dembele. The Belgian international, who proved to be adept at playing both in midfield and up-front in the past season, has just a year remaining on his contract at Fulham. And, according to Goal.com, Arsenal, along with Manchester United and
Tottenham have all made inquiries for the 25-year-old.
Although Dembele has been a far from prolific scorer since his move to Craven Cottage from AZ Alkmaar two years ago, he has earned plaudits for his ability to run with the ball and unselfish contribution to the side.
Yesterday it was confirmed that Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia would be leaving the club at the end of his contract this summer. With speculation also mounting that fellow-stopper Lukasz Fabianski may seek a move away from the Emirates, Arsenal could shortly be adding a keeper to their ranks.
The latest name in the frame is that of Sogndal's Kenneth Udjus, according to the ESPN. The Norwegian has reportedly been watched by Arsenal scouts in recent months.
"I have heard that Arsenal have seen me in action," Udjus said. "But I cannot say any more about this. It goes without saying that playing for a big club like Arsenal would be enormous.
"But this by no means something I think a lot about. We'll see what will happen in the future but my focus now is just to perform for Sogndal."
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