Arsenal in major dilemma over top transfer targets

The back pages are awash with rumours that throw up an interesting dilemma for Arsenal to consider on the transfer front.

On the one hand, it would appear that Liverpool are under no obligation to sell Luis Suarez to Arsenal for £40,000,001 - as the Merseyside club made clear last week.

It seems the clause in the Uruguayan striker’s contract does indeed only require the Reds to inform the player of the bid from the Gunners, and the club still reportedly values the 26-year-old closer to (and likely over) £50 million in any case.

Meanwhile, over the other side of Liverpool, Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini’s £22 million release clause in his contract expires today. After July 31st the Toffies will likely slap a much higher price tag on the Belgian and will synonymously be less inclined to sell him at all.

And as if that wasn’t enough of a dilemma, Manchester United are reportedly weighing up whether to make a final record breaking offer of £35m to Barcelona for former Arsenal captain (and fans’ favourite) Cesc Fabregas.

Arsenal have an agreement with the Catalans that would grant them the first right of refusal if they wish to sell the Spanish midfielder on and, furthermore, they would be entitled to a cut-price buy-back price of £25 million.

Arsenal fans unanimously agree that manager Arsene Wenger needs to spend some money and bring in quality players this transfer window, but they agree that the two main priority positions that could use strengthening are in the form of a striker and a defensive midfielder.

Fabregas, however, remains close to Arsenal fans' hearts and they would certainly be more than a little reluctant to watch their former captain pull on a Red Devils shirt and join up with Robin van Persie at Old Trafford.

With that in mind, and with time of the essence in this debacle, would Arsenal fans rather see Wenger spend £50-plus million on Luis Suarez – undoubtedly a top quality striker, despite his tendency to engage in biting and racist abuse – or would they prefer the club spent that money on Marouane Fellaini – a genuinely top notch midfielder, with the physicality the side have lacked in recent years – and combine him with bringing the prodigal son back from the Camp Nou ?

If Arsenal bid today for Fellaini at £22 million, they could then test Barcelona’s resolve over Fabregas, still spending £3m less on both players than they would have to big up for Suarez.

As it stands, hypothetically, Arsenal do have Olivier Giroud as well as Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and young Yaya Sanogo who can function as forwards. Is there a chance the fans would forego another reinforcement up front in favour of a midfield enforcer and their old chum back at the Emirates ? I think they’d settle for that in a heartbeat.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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