After securing arguably one of the summer’s biggest deals in Mesut Özil, Arsene Wenger has already turned his sights to another German international in the shape of Ilkay Gundogan. If you believe the reports in some German media, Dortmund has told Wenger he can have the player for 30 million pounds. This much was also reported by a section of the media in England yesterday which means there is probably some truth in the reports.
The Borussia Dortmund has attracted a lot of interest after eye-catching displays in Dortmund’s two title wins in 2011 and 2012 and still shone last season on their road to the Champions League final despite Bayern Munich dominating the German Bundesliga.
Wenger is keen to add to his growing contingent of German internationals after firstly acquiring Per Mertesacker in 2011 followed by Lukas Podolski’s arrival last summer. Özil’s transfer has seen Wenger buy a senior German player for the third consecutive year with young talents Serge Gnabry, Thomas Eisfeld and Gedion Zelalem also of German origin.
One of the positions that Wenger tried to strengthen in the summer was defensive midfield. Alex Song was not properly replaced last summer and his cover, Mikel Arteta, was ruled out for two months before the season started. Interest in Lars Bender, who is also German, and Luiz Gustavo meant nothing as Wenger failed to secure a midfield anchor, a position he will priorities in January.
Dortmund have learned of Arsenal’s interest in their young star and have insisted it will cost them at least £30 million. Real Madrid were considering a bid for Gundogan in the summer before opting for Spanish youngster Asier Illarramendi.
The Gunners still have a large amount of money available to them in January despite splashing over £40 million on Özil. Gundogan is likely to be Wenger’s main target as well as a new striker.