Khedira balk and defender bid highlight Arsenal woes

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The celebrations around Arsenal’s signing of Chilean star Alexis Sanchez have been diluted with Arsene Wenger reverting to type in his pursuit of further talent.

The Gunners had emerged as favourites to sign Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira after Los Blancos drafted in Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich.

Arsenal fans were salivating at the prospect of Khedira and Germany team-mate Mesut Ozil recreating their World Cup success at the Emirates.

However, Arsenal are reported to have cooled on the idea after balking at the German’s wage demands.

Khedira is said to be requesting top earner status at the north London club but Wenger is unwilling to grant him wages of around £150,000 per week.

The Frenchman’s stance over finances is commendable but Arsenal fans must wish he’d just dip his hands into those deep pockets to get his man.

His stance over transfer fee has cooled somewhat, with Ozil and Sanchez costing in excess of £40m and £30m respectively, but the strict wage structure may have to be rethought if the Gunners are to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea.

Wenger’s men are priced as 13/2 outsiders for Premier League glory this season, behind favourites City (7/4), Chelsea (15/8) and last year’s seventh-placed side Manchester United (5/1).

To compound Gooners’ worries, Wenger has also offered a trial to a 29-year-old defender who was on the cusp of joining Nottingham Forest in January.

Egypt international Ahmed Fathi will be allowed to leave Al Ahly if the trial proves successful, earning him a return to the Premier League after a stint with Sheffield United in 2007!

The Sanchez signing is certainly a coup but unless it is backed up by similar signings the £32m transfer fee could prove a very expensive piece of paper to cover the cracks in Arsenal’s title bid.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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