Arsenal’s hunt for a top-drawer striker has continued this week, with limited success. Having reportedly agreed terms with Argentine Gonzalo Higuain over an original fee of £23 million, Real Madrid President Florentino Perez – in a move befitting of him – decided to hike up the asking price by a further £10 million, to which Arsenal have baulked. Understandably so.
Having moved the co-ordinates of their finely tuned radar, the Arsenal hierarchy have elected to move onto other targets, namely Liverpool’s polarizing Uruguayan enigma, Luiz Suarez. Having first had a £30 million formal bid rejected by Liverpool, the Gunners were reportedly readying a £35 million counter offer and now it seems that the board have sanctioned a £40 million offer, for the player Arsene Wenger rates more highly than Gonzalo Higuain.
Now though, just like Los Meringues’ president, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has increased their valuation of the player by £15 million (despite £40 million being enough for Arsenal to talk to Suarez, as stipulated in his release clause).
Rodgers stated in The Sun:
“When you consider Edinson Cavani has gone for £55 million, Luis is up there in that bracket of top talent. Arsenal’s was an offer we didn’t deem worthy of the talent.
“There’s no guarantee Luis would be sold even for that because we are trying to build something — we don’t have to sell. We’re prepared to spend and get people in without having to sell him.
“The reality is we have had one offer. So there can be as much speculation as you like, there’s been nothing beyond that. Liverpool are one of the giants of the world.
“There is massive competition and we don’t want to be selling players — we want to keep our best ones here.”
If Arsenal’s pursuit of Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez seemingly is over – for the time being at least – where else does Arsene Wenger look for his marquee striker signing? Worryingly for the Arsenal faithful, the options are not plenty.
As Rodgers mentioned above, Edinson Cavani has moved to PSG, Manchester City have captured both Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic (formerly an Arsenal target), with Carlos Tevez heading to Juventus, David Villa making the alarmingly paltry move of £5 million to Atletico Madrid and Radamel Falcao’s big money move to Rybolovlev’s millions, at AS Monaco.
There appear to be three possible candidates. Wayne Rooney is one and even this week Arsene Wenger suggested Rooney’s wages would not be a stumbling block, however his old nemesis across London, Jose Mourinho, will be more of one and would be loathed to lose out to ‘The Voyeur’ in the transfer market.
Another option is Roberto Soldado. Tottenham appear to be in pole position to land the Spanish international, who has scored 51 goals in 101 appearances for Valencia and have bid a reported £20 million for the 28 year old. There remain doubts over the Soldado, having not made the cut at Real Madrid, but as she showed glimpses of during the Confederations Cup, he has a keen eye for goal.
Option three is Bayer Leverkusen’s goal machine Stefan Kiessling. Now to be honest until recently, I have not rated him particularly, but his stats do not lie; Kiessling has scored 15+ goals in three of the last five seasons, including winning kicker Torjägerkanone (Bundesliga top scorer) last season, edging out Robert Lewandowski with 25.
Kiessling would not be classed as a world class, but he may just develop into that if the 29 year old moved to a top league, with West Ham sniffing around him. But any striker in this era with as many Bundesliga goal as he has can’t be overlooked.
As it stands, The Gunners only move the summer has been for 20 year old French U20 striker, Yaya Sanogo and despite reports surfacing today in the Brazilian media of a deal for Atletico Mineiro’s Bernard, Arsene Wenger is desperate to give the club and its long-suffering fans the fillip they need. If he doesn’t, then the Arsenal boss is likely to feel their full voice of discontent.