Arsène Wenger is considering a late move into the transfer market to secure a striker before Monday’s deadline, with the Arsenal manager resigned to being without his principal centre-forward, Olivier Giroud, until the new year.
The France international has broken a bone in an ankle and his absence, which is set to be confirmed by a specialist, leaves Arsenal shorn of options up front not least for Wednesday’s Champions League qualifier against Besiktas, and the manager contemplating signing a senior reinforcement.
There is interest in the QPR forward Loïc Rémy, who is available to a top-four club for £8.5m, while deals for Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck and Radamel Falcao of Monaco may now be explored.
Though Welbeck has effectively been made available, it remains to be seen whether United would be willing to sell him to a rival. Falcao’s sights are ultimately set on a return to Madrid, with Real, but he would be open to a loan move to the Emirates for a season even though a temporary switch would still cost Arsenal up to £20m in terms of fees and wages for the Colombia forward. A pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani feels unlikely given the French club’s reluctance to lose the Uruguayan.
Rémy, in comparison, represents a relatively easy deal to conclude given the existence of the release clause in his contract at Loftus Road, though Wenger has previously been resistant to meeting the Frenchman’s wage demands. The striker, who excelled on loan at Newcastle last season and came close to joining Liverpool this summer, would seek up to £90,000 a week. Regardless of the club’s pursuit of a signing, it seems unlikely that Lukas Podolski will be permitted to leave this summer, disappointing the likes of Juventus, Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg, who had all hoped to secure the World Cup winner.
Giroud will consult a specialist on Wednesday, while the rest of Arsenal’s first-team squad prepare for their second leg against Besiktas with the tie goalless, with the two scans overseen by the club’s medical staff having initially prompted a grim prognosis. The 27-year-old, who had initially been convinced the injury was only minor, is understood to have fractured the base of his tibia after slipping on the ball in the final minute of added-on time having just equalised at Everton last Saturday.
“We came back on Saturday night and he was at home on Sunday,” said Wenger. “He had a medical check and we needed to have further investigation. The first news is not fantastic, but I am not a doctor. So I wait for tomorrow’s complete examination and decision for how long he will be out. I still don’t understand how he did it. He overstretched his ankle, and it was on the ball, not a contact. The problem is I think his tibia.”
While Wenger has Yaya Sanogo restored after hamstring trouble for the game against Besiktas, and the Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell also in the squad, he is expected to retain Alexis Sánchez in a central role against the Turkish side.
The Chilean started in that position at Goodison Park but was replaced at the interval by Giroud having struggled to make an impact. “You do not convict a player on one half of football,” said the manager. “It was not all bad what he did. There was some quality. I just felt that, on the day we needed some more physical presence because I knew we would need more presence in the second half.
“We would have less income, but it would not affect our balance sheet in a dramatic way,” added Wenger, who is also without the suspended Aaron Ramsey. “We can survive without that. But we want to be in the Champions League because we need to play top-level football. To play at the top. “I don’t really think about that. It is just a game we want to win. It is very important, but we have started quite well, with three good games. We want to continue to grow and win our games. We are technically equipped to do it, but we need to defend well together and therefore you need to be ready for the battle.”