Arsene Wenger plans to bring big name star to the Emirates Stadium.
Sources in both Bavaria and London are suggesting that Arsenal are in advanced talks with Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery in a move that could cost the North London club £22m.
The Bundesliga giants are looking to offload the France international this summer after what has been a frustrating year for the club and player with Bayern not winning the Bundesliga and 28 year old Ribery once again injured for most of the season.
The club are also looking to freshen the side up and also fear that Ribery’s history – issues with an underage prostitute – it will be best to cut their losses. The Frenchman has always been keen to join up with Arsene Wenger but it will take a brave man to purchase a player who can be so prone to injury. The price had always seemed the biggest barrier for Arsenal but with Munich looking to cut their losses, the price that was quoted last year – anything from £40m to £70m – is a thing of the past.
There had been talk earlier in the year of a possible swap deal involving Andrei Arshavin which could still be on the cards although sources claim the only big player that could be sold this summer will be that of the Emirates captain.
This would be fairly shocking to say the least and one wonders if there is any truth to this speculation as it’s the first we have heard of it. Franck Ribery has now been at the Allianz Arena for four seasons and there is no doubting that last term was something of a damp squib, with the Bavarian side losing their Bundesliga crown and failing to make much of an impact in the Champions League, actions that led to the departure of Louis Van Gaal and the arrival of Jupp Heynckes for his third spell as Bayern Munich boss.
Ribery has been a big hit in Germany, a consistent attacking force in the club’s side, would he really decide to make a move to the Premier League this summer, and to an embattled Arsenal side who are struggling to keep their top performers and who have gone six seasons without silverware, seems a bit of a stretch to me.
Arsene Wenger is fighting to keep Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona’s clutches and Samir Nasri from forcing an exit, indeed the Gunners boss has stated that he would prefer to allow the Frenchman to run down his current contract and leave for nothing next summer rather than lose the 24 year old attacker during this transfer window.
Some would wonder if Arsenal need to make major changes in the attacking third as it seems they have far bigger problems to address at the back. Last term the North London side conceded as many Premier League goals as they have in any other campaign under Arsene Wenger and that was after he brought in Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci, both of whom struggled to adapt to life in the English top tier.
They were also without the services of consistent Belgian Thomas Vermaelen for most of the season and one would have thought a new centre back would be a bigger priority than another playmaker.
Arsene Wenger is likely to offload Nicklas Bendtner and Manuel Almunia and Denilson has left to join Sao Paulo on a loan deal and Kyle Bartley is looking to join Rangers on a similar temporary basis.
Clearly however the signing of a player as high profile as Ribery would send out a strong message to the club’s rivals and those player’s at the club who may feel that Arsenal lack ambition, but it just seems like a deal that seems hugely unlikely.
That said, the 28 year old French winger has stated his admiration of Arsenal in the past and maybe Ribery is seen as a natural replacement for Andrei Arshavin on the right wing, albeit a very expensive one and any move to snap up the Bayern Munich star would smash the club’s transfer record purchase by quite some way.