Arsene Wenger is considering swooping for wantaway Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas.
The Arsenal boss is said to be frustrated at Wojciech Szczesny’s erratic form and the Spain captain, unhappy at not being certain to be the No.1 choice any longer at the Bernabeu, could fit the bill.
Madrid will demand £15million for Casillas but Wenger is said to consider a fee of £8million the market price for a 32-year-old
Under-fire Wenger saw the pressure lifted just a little this morning when five players who were injury doubts trained ahead of the Champions League clash against Fenerbahce.
The Gunners go onto the hostile atmosphere of the Sukru Saracoglu stadium in Istanbul tomorrow desperate to bounce back from an awful opening day 3-1 defeat at home to Aston Villa.
The Frenchman has been fiercely criticised for his lack of activity in the transfer window this summer with his doubters claiming his squad is far too thin.
And to add to Wenger’s woes, there were concerns that Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky would be forced to miss the vital qualifying game. But they all trained with their team-mates ahead of flying out to Turkey.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be absent after suffering a serious knee injury in the defeat to Villa, with some reports suggesting he may be sidelined for six months.
Feneebahce will be tough opponents and former Liverpool and Chelsea midfielder Raul Meireles, who now plays for the club, believes it is the perfect time to play Arsenal.
He said: “You always have to give the opposition respect – but we know this is a good time to play Arsenal. They have not signed the players they wanted this summer, they have injuries, and confidence is low. It was a bad result for them at the weekend – and the pressure will be on them now.
“Over here the media are saying Arsenal are in crisis. I don’t think one loss means they are in crisis – but it is not the start of the season they would have wanted. The fans are putting the players and coach under pressure – and we must take advantage of that.”
With less than two week remaining of the window, Wenger must redouble his efforts to bring new faces to north London. He has stated that he would like to bring up to three recruits to the Emirates
One target is Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye and the Gunners had a £10million bid rejected yesterday and are expected to increase their offer for the 27-yea-old, who was the subject of interest from Tottenham, Manchester United and PSG.
Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud – who grabbed Arsenal’s goal at the weekend – has spoken about the need to strengthen the squad.
He said: “In my opinion, it’s necessary for the club to recruit another striker. Obviously I think about it a little bit. It may change the play one day, especially if it’s a high profile signing.
“It’s useless lamenting this though. I know what I have to do and what I’m capable of. I’m focusing on me and my work. The coach is counting on me, so I don’t think too much.”