Plenty of speculation around today with Clint Dempsey admitting his dream of playing Champions League football, Oliver Giroud is reportedly in talks with Arsenal over a move to North London, while Jan Vertonghen has stated that the Gunners are interested in him and if the deal with the Spuds is held up for any longer then he could join Wenger’s men.
American star forward Clint Dempsey is adamant that his next move in his career is towards playing Champions League football, and with the Gunners and French big-spending giants PSG both interested in his services, his dream could well become a reality this summer.
The Gunners have secured automatic qualification into next seasons illustrious European competition, and with the attacking midfielder out of contract soon with the Cottagers he will be available at a cheap price. The bookies believe Wenger could be in with a shout placing the move at very a low odds of 5/4 for a move this summer.
Dempsey netted an impressive 23 goals in all competitions last season to help his side finish a respectable ninth in the Premier League, but is keen to push his career to the next level, he told Sports Illustrated:
I am grateful for everything Fulham have done for me, some of the best memories I have in soccer have been there, but the fact remains that I want to play in Champions League. I want to play at the highest level possible,
I want to do as much as I can in my career and look back and say I made the most of all the opportunities I have had. I am always going to want to play in Champions League.
Meanwhile according to the Daily Mail, Arsene Wenger has opened talks with Montpellier over their star striker Oliver Giroud as the Gunners look to reinforce the attacking lineup ahead of the summer clear out.
The French ace has been tracked by Gunners scout Gilles Grimandi who scored a decent tally of 26 goals as his side won Ligue 1, and the 25-year-old could be available for somewhere in the region of £12.8m due to a release clause, however Montpellier’s extravagant owner rates the striker at a whopping (and overly excessive) £50m.
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The report also suggests Wenger could use Marouane Chamakh as a ‘make weight’ which would be the ideal situation, with the French side conceded to loosing their hitman after the European Championships this summer.
And finally The Sun have revealed that the Ajax star and supposed Arsenal target Jan Vertonghen knows of interest from the Gunners, and if a move to their rivals fails to materialize, then he could in fact move to the Emirates.
The combative defender, who is a compatriot and former team mate of Gunners vice-captain Thomas Vermaelen, still rates a move to White Hart Lane as his number one choice (don’t know why?!?) but Arsenal’s rivals have been stalling over the transfer fee.
I’ve said repeatedly that Tottenham are my first choice, but the talks haven’t progressed.
I’ve been shown around, I have met all their key people and their chairman came to meet me on Monday.
But Arsenal want me too. They remain a possibility if my Spurs move falls through, as Ajax are asking £13m for me.
Although many Gooners will initially despise Vertonghen for his comments preferring the Spuds over Arsenal, it will only be because he will have a sure-chance of regular football because their defence is pants. Whereas with the Gunners, we have Vermaelen, Koscielny, Mertesacker and Djourou all centrebacks that play at an international level, however the Belgian’s versatility would be ideal to have, but he has placed regular football as a number one priority which Wenger can’t guarantee.
In terms of Dempsey, the attacking midfielder would be a great acquisition as he is an extremely hardworking player that is a proven goalscorer, something that Arsenal’s midfield has lacked this season. But will anything materialize? He’s eager to leave Fulham and out of the top four in England Arsenal is the most likely destination, and with the bookies placing the move at a very low 5/4 this rumour may actually turn out to be something more concrete.
Oliver Giroud too would be a wonderful acquisition, and would add real depth to Arsenal’s attacking lineup, allowing Podolski to generally play out wide on the left with Giroud providing cover for Van Persie. But in hindsight Wenger will probably not buy the French striker at this stage unless Van Persie is sold as Arsenal have a strict budget, but if the Gunners can buy him for around £12-15m then Wenger get your cheque book out and sign him!
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