Arsene Wenger is reportedly after a holding midfielder as his transfer priority.
The Frenchman has done great work in the transfer market with the signings of Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle United and Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona and the Daily Mail reports Wenger’s next priority is a holding player.
“Their next target is a top level holding midfielder, with Khedira their No 1 choice, but Schneiderlin is considered another quality option,” reports the Mail.
That spells bad news for Manchester United in their pursuit of Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen.
Vermaelen continues to be linked with an Old Trafford switch although Wenger is unlikely to let the Belgian leave the club unless he gets a replacement in the middle of defence.
Wenger’s desire to sign a midfielder suggests that finding that replacement will be delayed and that affects Manchester United’s build up to the new Premier League season.
The two main holding players Arsenal have been linked with are Sami Khedira of Real Madrid and Morgan Schneiderlin of Southampton.
A deal for either of those players is likely to involve a big fee, which means a drawn out negotiation process, pushing the necessity of finding a replacement for Vermaelen even further back.
Louis van Gaal has said he wants to look at the players already in his squad before he makes big decisions over transfers, but at £12 million and considering his experience, Vermaelen would be a very good signing.
It’s a waiting game but with Arsenal showing no signs of looking for a centre-back in the near future, the season could well have started before United get a chance to finally complete a deal for the Belgian.
Arsenal are under no pressure and Wenger will only entertain the idea of a Vermaelen sale when the time is right for his club.