Arsenal Wenger is in a decidedly pro-transfer spending mode. The long-serving Frenchman is famous for being a very frugal boss when it comes to spending large sums of money on high-profile transfers and that policy has come under severe criticism over the years, as Arsenal's wait for a trophy... any trophy... continues to grow.
Wenger has already confirmed the signings of German international Lukas Podolski from FC Koln and French striker Olivier Giroud from Montpellier. However, with it becoming increasingly likely that club captain and talismanic striker Robin van Persie will leave sometime this summer and England international Theo Walcott could follow him out of the Emirates, Wenger must be aware of the need to continue bringing in new faces.
The Daily Mail reports Wenger has offered Brazilian club Corinthians £9mn for young attacking midfielder Paulinho. Unfortunately for the Gunners, the 23 year old star has three years left on his contract with the Brazilian club and a report on Goal.com suggests club president Mario Gobbi is adamant his young star will not leave this summer. In fact, he is reportedly even planning a new deal for the player.
"Paulinho and Ralf (a team mate who is reportedly being targetted by Roma and AC Milan) will stay at Corinthians," the president was quoted as saying by Goal.com, "Corinthians is a meritocracy. We have done this since December 2007. Those players who raise their levels, they will get their salary raised to a new level. I want everyone to be happy and satisfied at Corinthians, playing with the same willingness they showed in the Libertadores."
Meanwhile, Paulinho has also attracted interest from Serie A outfit Inter Milan but has been quoted as saying he would prefer to remain in Brazil, making it an even more difficult task for Wenger to persuade the youngster to come to England.
"Corinthians are doing everything they can to keep me," the former Bragantino player was quoted by ESPN, "I want to remain here and I hope that my future is resolved as soon as possible so that I can play without having any distractions. Inter have not spoken directly with me but they have spoken to my representatives. I want to reward Corinthians for their willingness to keep me."
Holtby a Gunner?
In other transfer news, Arsenal have been linked with midfielder Lewis Holtby, who plays for Bundesliga side Schalke 04. A report on Goal.com quotes the player, who has an English father, as saying that while he was happy with Schalke for the moment, he would not dismiss a possible England move and that playing for Arsenal would be "massive".
"You never know, I'm just living every day in the day. I'm in Canada now, I'm enjoying it with my friends I'm just preparing for the new season. I just want to give my best for Schalke and you never know. I always said that my aim was to come to the Premier League one day because I love the league and my father is English. Some of my favourite teams are Everton and Arsenal so you never know. It [a move to Arsenal] would be a massive move because in footballing terms they have always been my favourite," the 21 year old was quoted as saying. A report in the Mirror suggests Holtby could be a possible replacement for the outbound Walcott.