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Arsenal Summer 2017 Transfer Rumor Tracker

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Every year, Arsenal gets linked to a ton of players. We’ll keep track of them here.

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Every year, Arsenal are in desperate need of adding players. Every year, Arsenal fans are suckers for transfer rumors that pop up. Most times, those rumors are total hogwash.

My goal with this post, which I will continue to update through August, is to collect all of the Arsenal-related transfer rumors and rate them on a scale of 1 to 10 on their likelihood. This extremely scientific determination is called the Salomon Kalou Index. Factors will include source, positional need, player quality, player fit, possible competition from other clubs, and the very real sense of dread Arsenal fans have of the inevitable.

It also takes into account the veracity of the source of the rumor. How do you know which ones are solid and which ones are trash? We compiled a list! This post runs down the most commonly referenced Arsenal transfer news sources and attempts to put a rating of sorts on their reliability and accuracy.

Feel free to send me Arsenal related transfer rumors on here in the comments or through Twitter to @FBJ0 or @TheShortFuse.

LAST UPDATED: 5/22/17

Goalkeepers

Jordan Pickford (Local newspapers typically have pretty good info when they actually report on things. With Petr Čech getting up in age, David Ospina on his way out the door, and Wojciech Szczesny still in Arsene Wenger’s doghouse, it would make sense for Arsenal to target a new goalkeeper to compete with Emiliano Martinez. Sunderland will need to cash out on some players as they drop down to the Championship. This seems like a reasonable move for all sides. I’ll give it a 6.5.)

Jack Butland (Another young, home-grown keeper. If Arsenal are looking, he’ll be on the list. Would seem a little less likely for me than Pickford. I’ll give it a 5.)

Joe Hart (Joe isn’t bad and he’s probably done at City. That said, might be too rich for our tastes for a guy that is going to be 30 next season. Home-grown is a plus, but I think we’d have to whiff on other guys before we went for Hart. 3.5)

Center Backs

Bjorn Engels (This young talented Belgian centerback wants to be on the move but he’s locked up with his home club for 2020. Not much meat on this transfer bone. This transfer saga seems like a struggle by a dominated class in a crucial stage of his player development. 2.)

Virgil van Dijk (4/20/17 UPDATE: Our good friend, Johnathan Cross, he of “I WROTE A BOOK ABOUT WENGER” fame, is saying the Gunners are very interested in acquiring the services of the Southampton defensive talisman. The rationale, despite a currently crowded CB portfolio? Wenger is actually going to switch to a 3 man back line! Crossy also notes everyone, including Chelsea, want van Dijk. I’m skeptical that Arsene, after 21 years of not playing a back three, is all in on a back three now. I’m also skeptical that we could beat out Chelsea for his services. This would be an expensive move, one summer from paying an exorbitant fee for Shkodran Mustafi. Koscielny is up in age though, so it might make sense to have an experienced, talented player in the mix there. Due to my disbelief of this AW/back three conversion and Chelsea’s heavily rumored involvement, I’m giving this a 2.5.)

Right Backs

Elseid Hysaj (The Napoli right-back’s agent has said Arsenal have made contact. Maybe, but this seems more like an attempt at negotiating leverage than anything else. A 23yo right back starting in a top league probably isn’t going to want to come in and compete with Hector Bellerin. Because of need alone, I’ll give it a 2.5.)

Left Backs

Sead Kolašinac (Lots of local reports that he is coming to Arsenal on a free transfer. Gianluca Di Marzio is confirming things. That’s typically a pretty solid sign. His dad is saying it’s between us and AC Milan. Still, nervous because of the other top clubs that need a LB. We’ll grade this one a 8 as of 4/14/17. 5/16/17 UPDATE: It appears Kolasinac has agreed to a 5-year deal with the Gunners. We’re bumping this up to a 10. Hurray for signings!)

Kieran Tierney (It appears we have Kolašinac as the no. 1 option at the moment, so this fairly constant rumor appears to in danger of not happening. We’ll give it a 2, with the potential of increasing if the move for the Bosnian falls through. 4/19/17 UPDATE: John Cross still has him on the list, saying the Gunners will move for him if both Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs leave in the summer. I think that’s very unlikely he would come in as a backup LB but I’ll bump it up to 2.5. 5/16/17 UPDATE: With Kolasinac’s reported signing, the chance we sign another LB this summer plummeted. Giving this a 0.5. Basically, unless Monreal picks up a long-term injury, we’re set at LWB.)

Ryan Sessegnon (John Cross thinks the Gunners might make a move for the Fulham youngster if both Monreal and Gibbs leave this summer. Like the update on Tierney above, this seems unlikely. He’s a big prospect and coming in to back up a 23yo doesn’t seem like a good career choice. 2. 5/16/17 UPDATE: 0.5, see Tierney update above.)

Jose Luis Gaya (5/11/17 UPDATE: Valencia’s stud young left-back is a prized possession for many. As the linked article states, Manchester City really want him and they really need an LB or 2. Would grade this one a 2. 5/16/17 UPDATE: 0.5, see Tierney update above.)

Central Midfielders

Jakub Jankto (This is the Mirror citing a Tuttomercatoweb claim so there was nothing to it. In fact, he’s already signed a contract extension. You’re welcome! 0.)

Naby Keita (Every club in the world wants a piece of Keita. The all-action midfielder has been the key cog in RB Leipzig’s incredible run in the Bundesliga this season. Undoubtedly would be a huge pickup for Arsenal. Certainly someone they should target. I have no faith in the Gunners’ ability to out-recruit all of the top clubs in Europe. I give it a 3.5. 7/21/17 UPDATE: Liverpool have tried hard to get him, offering 80m pounds. It appears he’s staying in Leipzig.)

Giuseppe Iglio (16yo top European talent being recruited by all of the top clubs in Europe? Seems like the kind of player we’ve targeted in recent years (see: JEFF Reine-Adelaide, Donyell Malen, et al.). Still, not sure the sources on this one are great yet and we’ve got stiff competition. I’ll give it a 3.5 for now.)

Pablo Fornals (A young midfielder with a cheap release clause that hasn’t yet hit his peak? This has Wenger signing written all over it. According to resident TSF La Liga Expert, Bozz, Fornals is Malaga’s crown jewel. I’ve been warned Marca aren’t the most reliable of sources for goings-on at Malaga, but the Wenger-y nature of this leads me to give it a 3.5. Probably not happening, but definitely seems like someone we’d target.)

Corentin Tolisso (5/18/17 UPDATE: This young Lyon midfielder is quite the promising box-to-box midfielder. His output would pair well with Granit Xhaka, which makes him an interesting target. He’s already said he would like to join the Gunners, allegedly. Which means...oh God, he’s using us, isn’t he? For need’s sake, and availability’s sake, I’m giving this a 5, but this feels like one of those guys we are linked to eternally but it never happens. 7/21/17 UPDATE: He signed for Bayern Munich and looked really good against us in a preseason match. 0.)

Rafinha (7/21/17 UPDATE: Apparently Barcelona have offered us Rafinha for about 30m pounds. One, why would Barca offer us a player when we so strongly rebuffed their Bellerin pursuit? Two, 30m is a lot for a utility player, even one whose brother is Thiago. He’d be an alright addition, especially as we need competent footballers in central midfield, but this seems very unlikely. No good sources have brought this possibility forward yet. 2.5.)

Attacking Players

Marcelo Allende (A young Chilean that has been on trial at Arsenal multiple times. This seems legit. Seems like only a matter of time now that he is of age. The work permit issue [read: he won’t get one] is still a potential move-killer. I’d grade it a 9, just because of the work permit deal.)

Moussa Dembele (No, not the Spurs one, the Celtic one. Dembele is a top prospect who has shined for Celtic and looked good in the Champions League. I don’t think Arsenal want him enough to beat out others for his signature. Also, seems like someone the Mirror is just naming because he’s a top prospect. He’s probably on our radar, but not a top target. I’d give it a 3.5.)

Wilfried Zaha (This rumor reeks of “Player has good match against Arsenal, let’s say Arsenal are interested in him.” Until I see it from a more credible source than the Mirror, I give it a 1.5. Doesn’t seem like an Arsenal player.) UPDATE: As of 5/17, Zaha says he’s staying at Palace.

Marco Reus (Yeah, right. Plus, Arsenal don’t need another injury-riddled player. Would love a fit Reus on Arsenal. Arsene and Arsenal can’t afford to spend big money on a player that hasn’t managed to stay fit for years. 1)

Quincy Promes (4/19/17 UPDATE: I don’t know what ClubCall is. It seems possible Arsenal are scouting in this area. It seems very unlikely that the Gunners have Promes earmarked as an Alexis replacement. These random links to older, non-superstar players in smaller leagues happen quite often and very, very rarely occur. I’m gonna give this a 1.5. 7/21/17 UPDATE: Apparently, Promes is being considered by Roma now. Knocking this down to 1.)

Haris Duljević (4/19/17 UPDATE: A 23yo Bosnian winger, Duljević is apparently performing well in the Bosnia and Herzegovina Premier League. Possibly Arsenal are scouting him, but this summer is probably not the summer for a diamond in the rough find. I’d give it a 2.)

Emil Forsberg (4/26/17 UPDATED: The RB Leipzig winger will be a hot commodity this offseason. So far, this is only being reported by lesser papers, but this seems like someone we’d be interested in so I’ll give it a 3.5. 7/21/17 UPDATE: It appears both he and Keita will be staying at RB Leipzig this season. No real buzz of Arsenal interest recently. 1.)

Thomas Lemar (5/11/17 UPDATED: Another one of Monaco’s young, bright talents likely to be poached this summer. John “I Wrote a Book About Wenger!” Cross says he’s Arsenal’s top midfield target. Lemar plays on the left of Monaco’s 4-4-2, but is definitely more of an attacking player. Scouted Football says that he’d be a perfect Alexis replacement, if the Chilean leaves, next to Ozil in the 3-4-3 we are currently deploying. Maybe Wenger is trying to compensate for missing out on another former Caen midfielder and wants to correct his mistake. Anyways, this young Monaco attacker is much more in our price range that his compatriot Mbappe, which makes this rumor seem more feasible. I’d give it a 4.5 for now since Crossy isn’t always the most reliable of sources. 7/21/17 UPDATE: So Arsenal have made a few bids for Lemar and have been rebuffed. The interest is confirmed and real. The chances of us getting him due to other Monaco outgoings seem rather small. I’ll give it a 5.5 because of the veracity of the link but it really doesn’t seem like the club are willing to sell.)

Riyad Mahrez (UPDATE 6/5: apparently this is now a thing. Is “out of left field” a soccer phrase?)

Jadon Sancho (7/21/17 UPDATE: One of Manchester City’s best prospects, winger Jadon Sancho could be on the move after rejecting the contract offer from City. He is originally from London and Arsenal and Tottenham are said to have had long standing interest. This seems like a typical Arsene and Arsenal buy but competition may be stiff. Also, remains to be seen if City want to sell him at all. I’d give it a 4.5.)

Ross Barkley (7/21/17 UPDATE: Please, God, no. -27.3)

Strikers

Dominic Solanke (A young, cheap talented striker on a free transfer. That sounds right up Arsene’s alley. Seems nailed on he is leaving Chelsea but Liverpool might be a better spot for him with Stephy Mavididi, Donyell Malen, and Eddie Nketiah all putting in good performances. I’ll give it a 5. 7/21/17 UPDATE: He signed for Liverpool. Seemed a legit link but Liverpool won the bidding for his services. 0.)

Alexandre Lacazette (The French striker has been on Arsenal’s radar for awhile. Wenger has never thought he was worth the exorbitant fee. I wonder if this is the summer he cracks. Due to the lack of affordable options here, I could see Arsene finally pulling the trigger and Lacazette is clearly available for the right price. I’d give it a 6.5.) UPDATE 6/5: Apparently talks have started with the Frenchman and his club. UPDATE 7/21/17: Oops so we’ve lagged behind on this. Uh, he’s already played for Arsenal twice in preseason competitions at this point. Going to go ahead and bump this up to a 10.)

Henry Onyekuru (The 19yo Nigerian forward who plays for Belgian side K.A.S. Eupen says he wants to join Arsenal. Where have I heard that before? He’s got 12 goals and 4 assists in 28 appearances, according to the club’s official website. That doesn’t scream “great prospect” to me. It screams “get me out of Belgium!” He may well be on the move, as Liverpool, Southampton, and Bournemouth have allegedly scouted him, but not sure he is good enough to push deserve being purchased when Arsenal have a bevy of young striker prospects. Seems likely he’s using the name “Arsenal” to get a better deal from one of those other clubs. I give it a 2.5. 5/22/17 UPDATE: Well, Sky is now reporting that we’re in talks to sign him. Has a release clause of 6.8 million pounds. He was the top scorer in the Belgian league, apparently. Seems like Arsenal are trying to get the next big striker before he blows up, a strategy I agree with. I’m bumping this up to a 6. 6/5/17 UPDATE: Sorry, the Ornacle says there’s no interest. Bumping it back down to a 3.5. Like I initially said, it seems like he’s using us to increase interest. 7/21/17 UPDATE: He signed for Everton. 0.)

Kylian Mbappe (He’s too good. We aren’t getting him. Don’t even dream. 1. 6/5/17 UPDATE I’ve been lazy at updating this post but Arsenal have apparently made a couple of large bids for the French youngster. Still seems very unlikely because we’re facing off against his Champions League semifinalist current club, Monaco, and Champions League winners Real Madrid for his services. 3. 7/21/17 UPDATE: Gone a little quiet on the Mbappe front at the moment but it seems like he will either stay put or go to Real Madrid at this point. Giving it a 1.5.)

Nedim Hadzic (4/20/17 UPDATE: Arsenal have apparently scouted this Bosnian youngster, dubbed the “Bosnian Suarez” because no one can come up with original nicknames. Hard to know much about this kid, but we are definitely mining Europe for this type of prospect. Trying to get the next big thing before they hit the stage where they merit an Anthony Martial-esque fee. Just because of that, I’ll give it a 4, even though we don’t know much.)

Patrik Schick (4/20/17 UPDATE: Arsenal, along with Tottenham, Liverpool, and Juventus, among others, are being linked with the 21yo Sampdoria striker. The Czech international has apparently been impressive for the Serie A side, though his goals tally doesn’t necessary indicate greatness. That said, his radar (SSS warning) does indicate a very impressive pure striker. Certainly one to keep an eye on, but I’m going to need more than a Daily Mail rumor before giving it any more than a 2.5. Also working against it, every good player in Serie A ends up at Juventus. It’s basically Italian law. 7/21/17 UPDATE: Juve tried to buy him but he failed the medical. Apparently he has a heart issue which I hope is nothing serious. Remains to be seen what his next move is but he may be of interest still to Arsenal, if their prior interest was real. 2.)

Technical Director

Marc Overmars (An actual director of football at a historic European club with Arsenal ties. While Ajax today are certainly a different beast than in the past, Overmars combination of experience, success, and club ties would probably lead to him being the odds-on favorite to become Arsenal’s DoF, if Gazidis wins that internal club power struggle. I’d give it a 5, just because Wenger seems unlikely to accept being pushed out of that role and Gazidis doesn’t exactly appear to have the cache to oust the Arsenal legend.)

Robert Pires (At different times, this key member of Arsenal’s Invincible squad has expressed his interest in becoming the technical director at the club. However, his current experience is training with the Arsenal first-team for much of the last five years or so. Unless he’s done a whole lot of osmosis, or has had more experience than we know behind the scenes, this would be a very, very bad appointment. I don’t think the board would hire such an inexperienced candidate, no matter his ties. I give it a 2.)

Michael Zorc (Zorc is a Dortmund lifer who has built a machine at Dortmund. Arsenal should write a blank check to get him here, but I think it’s highly, highly doubtful he lives his club. It gets a 3, only because he’s just the kind of person Arsenal should target for this role and would potentially be able to offer him more money than Dortmund. Never know if a guy like this wants to test himself elsewhere.)

Manager

Max Allegri (Arsene Wenger is staying We’re going to have to deal with it. 1. 6/5/17 UPDATE: Sorry I’m late, but Arsene got a new deal. 0.)

Ernesto Valverde (Arsene Wenger is staying We’re going to have to deal with it. 1. 6/5/17 UPDATE: See above. 0)