AS Monaco are firmly putting their foot down on the rest of Europe with their recent spending spree.
First we had the FC Porto pairing of Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez deciding to sign for the newly crowned Ligue 2 champions; bankrolled by Russian businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev’s millions.
Now Ricardo Carvalho has also joined the club while Radamel Falcao is on the verge of returning to the scene of his watershed Super Cup moment of last August permanently in a £50 million move to Stade Louis II from Atletico Madrid.
For manager Claudio Ranieri the difficulty in that process now is how to balance all these new egos and talents in Fontvieille; and with plenty more expected to arrive this summer there is just going to be many more plates spinning on sticks above his unicycle.
While doing that he also has to be respectful of the players who have got the club here in the first place; the ones who fired them to a title victory ahead of close company from fallen giants Nantes and fellow promoted outfit Guingamp.
One such player who has to be recognised for his excellent campaign is Senegalese striker Ibrahima Toure.
Toure was the Monegasque’s top-scorer this season and goals are certainly the currency he deals in. The tall and powerful front-man has scored them all around the world in a journeyman career that has seen him play in China, Morocco, Iran and the United Arab Emirates.
This season he scored 21 goals in 40 appearances to take his tally in France to 31 goals in 57 games; and an overall career tally of 119 in 213.
But with the arrival of Falcao and rumours persisting over names such as Carlos Tevez and Hulk his future is certainly not secure.
His performances this season saw his influence for Monaco compared to that of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s for Paris Saint-Germain and despite being 27-years-old he appears to be getting better and better; a real raw talent with all the necessary attributes to become a top European striker.
But he might just be looking for a move amid all the new arrivals as his squad status is likely to diminish; despite his importance in their promotion campaign.
"Playing in the Premier League is my dream. That is my wish. Would I stay if I have offers from England next summer? It will depend on what the club officials decide. We will see. Monaco are a big club but my long-term wish is to play in England, for example at Arsenal.’’
With the expensive deals for Stevan Jovetic and Gonzalo Higuain continuing to stall and Yaya Sanogo not likely to be an immediate first-team prodigy should Arsenal consider making Toure’s dream come true?
Monaco would certainly not need to sell but they would not exactly be struggling to replace him should Toure make his decision to depart abundantly clear.
Valued at around £6 million he might just be a punt worth taking.
Do you think Ibrahima Toure would be a good addition to the Arsenal first-team?
image: © john1710