The worst kept secret of this year’s transfer window is perhaps Arsenal’s pursuit for a striker. Almost everybody who watches football and follows the Premier League has concurred that the Gunners do need a striker and the club has also been in the hunt for somebody who will bring in that ruthless finishing up front. Arsène Wenger uncharacteristically started doing his business very early as he secured a deal for Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach for a massive fee. The manager then triggered the release clause of Jamie Vardy but the Leicester man decided to stay at the King Power as Wenger couldn’t give him assurances of a confirmed starting place at Arsenal.
Since the Vardy saga, there were some other names that have been linked with Arsenal. Gonzalo Higuain, Alexander Lacazette, Mauro Icardi, Wissam Ben Yedder, Romelu Lukaku etc. The fans were left frustrated when Higuain signed for Juventus for an astronomical fee of €94m. Ben Yedder links angered them and the lack of intent shown in the pursuit of Lacazette and Icardi has frustrated them. Arsenal have been told that they would have to pay close to £40m for either of the two players in Icardi or Lacazette and Wenger is still not yet ready to shell out that amount for the players who he believes are realistically not worth the amount quoted. However, there’s a catch and Arsène has indicated that he will pay the sum required if he fails in the deal to secure his primary target.
In the current market where it seems that every player has their base price set above what they are actually worth, trying to maintain secrecy goes a long way to secure a player’s signature for a value that is closer to reality but in the 21st century, keeping things secret is one of the hardest things to do. Sources close to Arsenal have previously revealed that the club are after a big player and if the transfer happens it would be some sort of ‘Madness’. It wasn’t long before tracking down who the madness actually is, and the name is Antoine Griezmann.
Arsenal were in talks with Atletico Madrid for some time now and the sale of Griezmann now primarily depends on a domino effect that will only happen if Arsenal are helped by their bitter rivals Chelsea! Yes, you heard that right. Chelsea, are interested in signing Romelu Lukaku from Everton. If Lukaku signs for The Blues, then Diego Costa would leave for the Los Colchoneros and Griezmann can finally sign for Arsenal. Thus the Gunners are looking towards the transfer situation of Lukaku with great interest.
If the above situation fails to materialise, knowing Arsenal’s luck, one can pretty much expect that something will probably be getting wrong at some point during the above deal, Arsenal do have two fallback options in the Lyon forward or the Inter Milan captain.
Lacazette is the preferred option for his versatility and French connection but Icardi is also someone who cannot be ruled out and is also a serious option for Arsenal. The Argentine is one of the best finishers in world football despite his young age and at 23, he is the current captain of Inter Milan as well. Arsène Wenger has tracked this player since his childhood days (it has become a cliché now for it happens so frequently) and is well aware of the natural finishing ability the striker possesses. Arsenal has long lacked a positive striker who will be ruthless and efficient in front of goal and will be finishing off one chance if that is all he gets in 90 minutes. Mauro Icardi can be that sort of striker for Arsenal and he still has his best years ahead of him.
The current state of Inter Milan is pathetic to say the least, as the club is on its way down even with Roberto Mancini at the helm as internal and external problems keep on damaging the situation at the Giuseppe Meazza. With Arsenal interested, this is one of the biggest opportunities Icardi is ever going to get to make a move to a better league and a more stable club. The quicker he leaves the Nerazzurri sinking ship the better as the player will struggle to move forward in his career at his current destination.