Friday, 5 July 2013

Higuain's medical -Cesar's next? -Wenger targets Bender, Capoue or Fellaini for midfield

Morning Gooners.

Well it appears we're finally getting somewhere and Gonzalo Higuain is on his way to London to complete a medical before signing a four year contract at Arsenal.

Having rumbled on for weeks, this deal looks set to be completed before the squad fly off on their pre-season tour next Thursday.

And hopefully it won't be the only piece of business Arsene Wenger does before the tour. If we are to be serious competitors next season, we have to hit the ground running. There is little room for error.

That's why it's important that we have all our signings on the pre-season tour so that we don't talk about a gelling period when the season starts. Last season we dropped points against Sunderland and Stoke in the first two games of the campaign and looking at where both sides finished in the table at the end of the season they are two matches we should have won.

Had we had all of the first team squad - including our new signings - on our pre-season tour, I would imagine that we would have done a lot better in those two games and come away with six points.

This term we know that there are tricky sets of fixtures lumped together. And the north London derby is on the horizon as soon as the season starts. We know the players will be up for that one, but the manager has  to ensure that we target a winning start to the season.

Having Higuain on the pre-season tour will help him develop relationships with Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott. He's going to need to be on their wavelength if he's going to succeed in England.

It looks as though he will be. The Daily Telegraph is reporting the final parts of the Argentine international's move to north London were being agreed.

Another player who looks set to join him is Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar in a £1.5 million move from  Queens Park Rangers.

The 33-year-old would offer Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski some serious competition and also aid their development.

The deal looks set to be done. QPR are only looking for £1.5m so they can get Cesar off their wage bill and if Wenger is happy to pay the player £70k a week, a deal could be concluded pretty quickly.

Also on the radar is a midfielder with serious consideration being given to an increased bid for Bayer Leverkusen's Lars Bender. The German side have already rebuffed a £19m offer.

So Wenger might opt for Toulouse’s Etienne Capoue and Everton's Marouane Fellaini if he can't get the Germans to sell.

Meanwhile the majority of Arsenal's first team squad returned to London Colney yesterday to begin pre-season training. You can see a picture special on

Can you identify the younger faces? I certainly had trouble with a few of them.

That's it for today. Back with more tomorrow.

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