Wenger 'gets £100m war chest to go after Podolski and Gotze'
Two of Germany's biggest names targeted as Arsenal board order Wenger to spend, spend, spend
COULD Arsene Wenger be about to break the habit of a lifetime and spend big in an attempt to resurrect his reputation? In recent years the Arsenal manager has displayed the same hesitancy in the transfer market as his back four have in defence. But according to Talksport, Wenger is "lining up a stunning £55m double-swoop" for two of Germany's biggest names - Cologne frontman Lukas Podolski and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Gotze.
Talksport reports that the tabloid Bild has it on good authority that the Nutty Professor (or, as they say in Germany, 'Der Professor Närrisch') will offer Cologne £20m for the 26-year-old Podolski having kept tabs on the international striker for several months.
But it's the 19-year-old Gotze that Wenger really wants and so determined is he to land the teenage playmaker he's reportedly prepared to meet Dortmund's asking price of £35m. That would represent a huge shift in transfer policy for the Frenchman, whose record signing for Arsenal during his 16-year stint at the Emirates was the £15m he paid for Andre Arshavin in 2009 (proof that it's just not Theo Walcott crosses that go to waste at Arsenal).
This will all be made possible, according to Talksport, by the Arsenal board giving Wenger a £100m war chest in June with orders to bring the glory days back to the club.
Meanwhile Arsenal fans face the prospect of a nail-biting few hours, and not just because Tottenham visit the Emirates on Saturday. Gooners will also be praying that the club finally gets shot of the aforementioned Andre Arshavin before Russia's transfer window closes tonight.
The so-called striker is said to be a target for his former club Zenit Saint Petersburg with the club's general director Maxim Mitrofanov telling Sovietsky Sport: "Arshavin would interest Zenit in loan terms. We have talked [with Arsenal]. We will have to see what they do next." Help Arshavin pack his bags in an ideal world is what the Arsenal faithful will be hoping, all of whom have long since tired of the 30-year-old's lacklustre displays.
Back in the land of the Bundesliga and German rag Express reports that Borussia Monchengladbach want to take Romelu Lukaku off Chelsea's hands. The 18-year-old striker has struggled to impose himself since arriving at the Bridge last summer from Anderlecht, and Express says the German club have enquired whether they could have Lukaku on loan for the rest of the season with an option of making it a permanent move if all goes well.
In other news, Chilean midfielder David Pizarro could become a Manchester City player on a full-time basis if the Sky Blues can agree terms with Roma. The Chilean paper La Tercera quotes Roma general manager Franco Baldini as saying: "We have good relations with Manchester City and if they want him, Pizarro will decide whether to stay there." The 32-year-old arrived on loan last month and has settled in well at the Etihad Stadium, scoring one of City's four goals in their Europa League thrashing of Porto on Wednesday.