Arsenal transfer news: Gunners move for Virgil van Dijk
After Liverpool and Chelsea, Arsenal are the latest club to try to lure the Southampton defender
Arsenal are ready to see if they can succeed where Liverpool and Chelsea failed as they attempt to prise Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.
The Reds landed themselves in hot water earlier in the summer when they made inappropriate advances to the Dutch defender, and were threatened with official sanctions by the Saints, and Chelsea also fared little better in chatting up Van Dijk.
Now The Sun says the Gunners are going to see if their powers of persuasion are up to the task. The paper claims that Arsene Wenger has doubts as to to the durability of both Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, and the Frenchman believes the 26-year-old Van Dijk is the man to dominate the Arsenal defence for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, Fenerbahce "will hold talks" with Lucas Perez's agent this week, says Talksport, passing on information gleaned from the Turkish press. That the 28-year-old forward is set to leave the Emirates isn't in doubt as he is absent from the Gunners' pre-season tour to Australia, but he has in the past been linked with a return to Spain and Deportivo La Coruna, whence he arrived at Arsenal last summer but the Daily Mirror says the La Liga outfit rate the chance of Perez returning as "remote".
But Turkish news source Fanatik says that Fenerbahce have "earmarked Perez as their number one transfer target" and they are confident they can wrap up proceedings in the next fortnight. It's believed they want to sign the Spanish marksman on a permanent deal and he's expected to jump at the chance to play regularly after a season spent kicking his heels on the Emirates bench.
Finally, having landed in Australia on the first leg of their summer tour, Arsene Wenger has addressed the future of Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean striker, whose contract expires next June, has been linked with Manchester City and Bayern Munich this month, but the Gunners gaffer struck a defiant note when asked about his star striker, reports the Daily Mail.
"The players have contracts and we expect them to respect their contracts. That's what we want," said Wenger. "He adds great value to the squad and I think as well he is a great lover of the club."