High-profile sales of some of the team’s underachievers are predicted, with captain Thomas Vermaelen and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny facing the Emirates exit. Arsene Wenger has lost patience with members of his squad, and could make an example of two first-team players.
Vermaelen, the paper claims, has “a fight to save his Arsenal career” after being dropped for the clash against Bayern Munich. Barcelonaare said to be admirers of the Belgian defender, and at 27 years of age, he should be entering the peak years of his career. As for Szczesny, warning bells were sounded when Wenger raised doubts about his ‘mental’ state ahead of the Champions League match in midweek, when the Pole was dropped for countryman Lukasz Fabianski.
“It is understood certain player are unhappy with the goalkeeper’s ultra-confident attitude”, the paper adds, “with many believing his performances do not merit such cockiness”. But if players go out, new ones will come in, and the Mail links Asmir Begovic, Simon Mignoletand Pepe Reina as the candidates to replace Szczesny next season. In the Daily Star, meanwhile, there is a report of a move for an even more striking signing – Malagastarlet Isco.
Unlike the Gunners, Malaga have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and their £30m-rated 20-year-old was on target in their victory over Porto. But after their Arab investors withdrew their backing, they have been forced into sales, with Arsenal already picking Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal from the club in the past 12 months, and they could pounce again for the attacking midfielder. Arsenal are not the only club set to do big business in the summer – the Metro claims that Evertonare bracing themselves for a ‘fire sale’, with Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines the two big names heading out of Goodison Park.
The defeat to Wigan in the FA Cup quarter-finals has dampened the mood around the club, and the prospect of raising around £40m from their sales and refreshing the squad could be too tempting to turn down. But with David Moyes still yet to put pen to paper on a new Everton contract, it could be a turbulent summer for the Toffeemen.
Elsewhere on the back pages the pickings are lean – the Daily Mirror suggests that Steve Clarke has ruled out the possibility of Romelu Lukaku staying on loan for a second season at West Brom, while Liverpool are keeping an eye on Sporting Lisbon winger Diego Capel