The confirmation of Lukas Podolski’s summer move to Arsenal yesterday confirmed that Arsene Wenger is hoping to do his business early this year, with Jan Verthongen next on his hitlist.
Ajax captain Vertonghen has long interested Arsenal, along with other clubs including Manchester United and Newcastle, and could be available for a knockdown fee as he nears the final year of his contract.
Vertonghen is believed to be keen to unite with Belgian international team-mate Thomas Vermaelen at the Emirates, and his versatility across the backline is a big attraction for Wenger.
So too is the £7million fee he now believes he can acquire his services for, as he aims to prove to his skipper Robin Van Persie that Arsenal can match his ambitions in bidding for trophies.
The signing of Podolski will have already gone some way to proving that, with his arrival easing the burden of being Arsenal’s primary goal source somewhat on the Dutchman.
German forward Podolski has a tremendous scoring record at international level, particularly in major tournaments, which would appear to indicate that he has the pedigree to be a success in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Wenger will also look to tie up a deal for highly-rated Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila, who has forced his way into Laurent Blanc’s France squad.
Some sparkling Ligue 1 performances have made M’Vila one of the hottest properties on the planet, as Man United and Liverpool amongst others scramble in competition for his signature.
The French connection with Wenger could put Arsenal in the driving seat to secure his services however, and the 21-year-old defensive midfielder could be the perfect man to add some steel to the Gunners’ midfield ahead of next season.
A new deal for Van Persie will remain Wenger’s priority, but the addition of players such as Vertonghen and M’Vila would likely go some way to persuade their captain to stay.