According to reports, Arsenal will line up a double barreled inquest on the Serie A, with Roma’s Mattia Destro and Marek Hamsik of Napoli set to be the players to come through the Emirates door upon the supposed January exit(s) of Lukas Podolski and/or Joel Campbell.
Neither Podolski nor Campbell has convinced Wenger enough to consider them for more regular appearances in the League, despite been handed only a second start of the season in the 4 – 1 win over Galatasaray. While Campbell appears most likely to be farmed out on loan to a Premier League club, Podolski has attracted interest from Juventus and could be waiting to see a move through when the transfer window opens in a little over a fortnight.
Together with Juventus, Roma and Napoli are amongst the crème de la creme of the Serie A, being the main challengers to the Bianconeri for the Scudetto last season, though they both have now found themselves in the Europa League at this point, albeit via different routes.
Destro has been closely monitored by Arsenal officials over the past few months, with a formal inquiry reportedly fallen through last summer. Though tipped to be a star for the future, Destro has not had very many opportunities at Roma, certainly not as much as he’d have loved. Though his overall record stands at 23 goals in 52 appearances, just 4 goals in 13 games this season has fallen short of the marks expected of him. He recently admitted of his desire to have more opportunities, and would consider his options if there happens to be no improvement.
Napoli failed to make it into the lucrative Group stage of the Champions League at the expense of Athletic Bilbao, which has not helped their declining financial conditions. They have had to sell their biggest stars in the past for very huge sums, the duo of Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani yielding very huge revenues. However, in their quest to push Juventus for the Scudetto over the past season, they’ve also splashed substantial amounts of those reciepts on stellar purchases, not least the £30m paid to Real Madrid last year for Gonzalo Higuain. They have failed to match all the spending spree with tangible success, having won just the Coppa D’Italia last season. Their financial weaknesses were also glaring when they couldn’t afford to retain on-loan Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina from last season.
Hamsik would probably be the more difficult of the two players to sign, as he is considered as one of the core chips in the block at San Paolo. Napoli President, Aurelio De Sanctis and Rafa Benitez would do all within possible limits to keep him, as well as other star players like Higuain. Both players are avalued at a combined fee of about £65m but there’s no guarantee that a bid for either won’t see a demand of a fee as close to all of that.
Follow oohtobeagooner on Facebook
for more latest Arsenal transfer news, injury news, team news and rumours.