THE once frugal Arsene Wenger is now a transfer monster possessed – but will he be able to keep Alexis Sanchez?
The Arsenal manager is reportedly ready to make a swoop for Liverpool target Virgil van Dijk and Celtic’s prolific striker Moussa Dembele.
He’s also got designs on Monaco striker Thomas Lemar, having already shelled out on Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac.
Having committed his own future to the club, Wenger is determined to end his remaining years at the Emirates in style.
With Mesut Ozil saying he wants to stay, and Wenger saying Sanchez will remain a Gunner, Arsenal will have one of the strongest squads in the Premier League.
That’s providing he can complete his transfer business before the season kicks off.
The possible capture of Lemar might be difficult, however, as the French champions have already lost Tiemoue Bakayoko to Chelsea and are bracing themselves for the likely departure of Benjamin Mendy.
There are also suggestions that Kylian Mbappe – Monaco’s 18-year-old sensation – is one Wenger’s hit list.
But with Real Madrid also in the hunt, that might be a bridge too far.
Wenger, as quoted on the BBC Sport website – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/40566112 – said recently of Mbappe: “He’s a player who, when he gets up in the morning, can chose where he wants to go.
“There are not many players with that kind of luck because he’s 18 years of age and all of Europe has a red carpet open for him. Nobody can say he is not interested in a player of that calibre, all the clubs are interested in him.”
Either way, it shows Arsenal’s intentions ahead of the new campaign and it says much about the stature and prestige of the North London club that they have been able to attract some top talent despite missing out on Champions League football.
Something Sanchez craves – but Wenger remains hopeful of keeping the club’s talisman and top scorer.