Arsenal transfer news: Illarramendi and Bendtner edges closer to the exit

A select round-up of transfer rumours relating to Arsenal, including Nicklas Bendtner, Asier Illarramendi, Laurent Koscielny and Arsene Wenger.

Malaga and Besiktas are reportedly leading the chase for Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner, who is set to leave the club this summer after spending the past two seasons out on loan. The 25-year-old has said recently that he has five offers on the table from different clubs, and that he expects to make a decision in the next few weeks.

Arsenal are apparently keen on Spain Under-21 star Asier Illarramendi, who currently plays for Real Sociedad. Illaramendi was a part of the side which won the under-21 European Championship last night by beating Italy 4-2, and is reportedly also being considered by Real Madrid as a long term replacement for Xabi Alonso.

The 23-year-old made 32 league appearances for the Real Sociedad team that qualified for the Champions League last season, and has a £25.7million release clause in his contract, which runs until 2018.

The midfielder is viewed as one of the most promising young players in La Liga, and with Arsenal keen to bring in a holding midfielder to replace the injury-prone Abou Diaby, Illarramendi could be a top target this summer, although Marouane Fellaini is also being considered in that position.

There has been speculation that Napoli will join the race to sign Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny if they sell Edinson Cavani this summer. Barcelona and Bayern Munich also hold an interest in the player, but Koscielny so far seems happy to stay at Arsenal for another season.

Napoli are hoping to bring in over €60million for Cavani, and could use €15million of that towards a bid for the 27-year-old defender.

After Andre Villas-Boas turned down the chance to take over at PSG this summer, the Ligue 1 champions are likely to appoint Fabio Capello on a one-year contract, with speculation that Arsene Wenger will be approached again about taking over next summer.

However there have also been reports that Arsenal are set to begin discussions with Wenger about a new contract, after Ivan Gazidis recently praised the manager and said he hoped he would be at the club for the long term. Wenger is expected to overhaul his Arsenal squad this summer with a £70million budget after several disappointing seasons.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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