Arsenal are close to a deadline day swoop for Real Madrid midfielder Mesut Ozil. The Mail Online believes the Gunners have made a massive club record £40m offer for the German international, who is rated as one of the finest creative midfielders in Europe.
The 24-year-old is also a target for Premier League champions Manchester United and French champions Paris St Germain (PSG), meaning Arsene Wenger will have to delve deep into his reported £70m summer budget if he is to sign Ozil, particularly with PSG in the frame.
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Wenger has come under severe pressure over the past few months for a steadfast reluctance to spend on new signings or even add to the first team at the Emirates; the only two new faces in that part of north London - Yaya Sanogo and Mathieu Flamini - arrived on free transfers.
Talk of mega bids for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, former Madrid star Gonzalo Higuain or United's Wayne Rooney remained unfulfilled. And in the face of extremely heavy summer spending by local rivals Tottenham, Wenger was definitely under the cosh.
However, this may change in the final hours of the transfer window, for several reasons, beginning with the Gunners' impressive 1-0 win over Spurs in the season's first north London derby. Andre Villas-Boas and his newly assembled squad (minus Welsh international Gareth Bale, who completed a world record move to the Santiago Bernabeu; £85m according to the BBC) were supposed to replace Arsenal as the dominant force between the two but succumbed to defeat despite the expensive additions.
That win, coupled with progress to the Champions League group stages, could signal a rush of signings in the hours that remain in this transfer window. But, unlike the largely mediocre signings made, in similar circumstances, in 2011, new arrivals this year could be world-class.
Madrid could also be forced by the fact they have spent an enormous sum of money in signing Bale. The £34.5m they received from Serie A side Napoli will go some way towards balancing the books as will sums received for Raul Albiol and Jose Callejon (both of whom also went to Naples) but the signings of Spanish youngsters Daniel Carvajal, Isco and Asier Illarramendi cost a combined £50m, meaning Florentino Perez is left with considerable summer transfer debt. And the sale of star players made surplus by the arrival of Bale is a logical way to reduce that debt.
Apart from Ozil, the Mail Online has also linked Arsenal to another Madrid playmaker - Brazil international and former World Player of the Year, Kaka. And with the exciting 19-year-old German forward Julian Draxler also a possible deadline day arrival, Gunners fans could finally be set to welcome star signings.
Meanwhile, Wenger declared himself pleased with Arsenal for the win over Tottenham and praised French striker Olivier Giroud for scoring the only goal of the game. He also spoke about signing players on deadline day.
"I am not against spending money, but I want to add super quality to our squad. Tottenham got a lot of money for Bale, they have to invest it - I understand that. The need is different for us, we need one or two super players and we will try to add that. We have 24 more hours, so maybe we can surprise you. Maybe not - but I am confident," he told www.arsenal.com.
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