Top Serie A side want two senior Gunners - why Arsenal must do deal

According to a report in Italy, Fiorentina are after Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen.

Fringe Arsenal duo Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen are approaching the final year of their respective Emirates Stadium contracts and, while it may be prudent to cash in on the experienced pair now in order to avoid a Bacary Sagna type scenario where both players leave on Bosman deals next year, that is not the sole reason Arsene Wenger should ratify their exits.

Arteta and Vermaelen are both very good Premier League players, however, Arsenal are at a stage now where they can continue recruiting and fielding top four quality athletes and settle for Champions League qualification but no trophies, or push on from their FA Cup glory and embellish their squad with elite-level talent capable of helping the club evolve from top four, to top dog.

Wenger reportedly has a significant £100m transfer fund at his disposal in the summer, yet can fortify that by sanctioning the sales of Vermaelen and Arteta - for a combined approximate £25m sum - as Italian site Calcio Mercato claim Serie A's fourth-placed team Fiorentina are eager to bid for both players.

Both Arteta and Vermaelen also have reason to feel disgruntled. Vermaelen is club captain but is a tertiary choice centre back thanks to the outstanding partnership forged by Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny. Arteta, 32, meanwhile, has reportedly bemoaned the club's policy to only offer one year extensions to players older than 30.

There are a number of players potentially available on the transfer market this summer who would be improvements on Vermaelen and Arteta.

Bayern Munich misfit Javi Martinez, 25, is entering his peak years as a footballer, has versatility, can play in the centre of defence or in the heart of midfield and has long attracted the attention of Wenger at Arsenal despite his £30m valuation.

Indeed, it could be an interesting period of activity for Arsenal, especially if the club build on the calibre of player acquired last year, when Mesut Ozil was brought in from Real Madrid for a club record £42.4m. It is, after all, only by gunning for this standard of footballer that Arsenal will be able to enhance their 38-game consistency and endurance and challenge for titles until a tournament's conclusion this time, next year.

Wenger has also been linked with Real Madrid pair Angel di Maria and Karim Benzema.

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