Emirates boss urgently looks for defensive solution.
Arsene Wenger is urgently looking into completing a deal for one of four Premier League targets before the transfer window slams shut leaving them with something of a threadbare defence. The Arsenal boss will look to put in a significant bid for one of the following Quartet: Fulham giant Brede Hangeland, Bolton’s England hopeful Gary Cahill, Manchester City youngster Micah Richards and veteran West Ham man Matthew Upson.
Having failed to win the race for Everton centre back Phil Jagielka and German international Per Mertesacker the Emirates manager will now look to use his ample financial resources to complete the signing of at least one more defender to make up for the loss of experienced trio Sol Campbell, William Gallas and Mikel Silvestre.
Bolton appear to value Cahill in the region of a somewhat unrealistic £24m and Mark Hughes will fight tooth and nail to keep Norwegian international Brede Hangeland at Craven Cottage but Wenger will know that if they show interest in either then they could both have their head turned by the chance of a move to a bigger club and a shot at Champions League football, something that neither player have experienced before.
A third, and less likely option, is a move to bring back a former Gunner in the shape of Matthew Upson. The West Ham man did show signs of interest in a move to Manchester City last summer but was persuaded to stay at the east London side who then barely scrapped clear of the relegation zone.
Whilst Wenger doesn’t usually look to bring in players over 30 he may well feel that the need to bring in another defensive option, and a reliable and experienced one like Upson, may make such a move worthwhile.
The final and perhaps most appealing target would be Manchester City’s adaptable defender Micah Richards. Still just 22 the Eastlands man is by no means a first team regular but has ample experience in the top flight having notched up over 150 starts for City, however Roberto Mancini may well be keen to trim his squad and therefore could consider a sizeable bid for the England international.
With less than a week until the new season and after conceding five goals in their latest friendly in Poland Wenger knows he must do something fast to help prevent his leaky defence from costing them any hope of significant silverware this season.