Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Gunners Closest to Angel Di Maria Deal

Ben Blackmore@@Blackmore_BRFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 02:  Angel Di Maria #22 works out during a training session at UCLA on August 2, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Real Madrid will face Everton in the Guinness International Champions Cup which will be played at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria is currently the closest of all Arsenal’s transfer targets to agreeing to a move to Emirates Stadium, according to multiple reports around England on Tuesday.

Arsene Wenger plans to ignite a late explosion in the transfer market that could see the Gunners spend up to £80 million on Real Madrid trio Karim Benzema, Mesut Ozil and Di Maria, and it is claimed by reporters of both talkSPORT and the Daily Mail that Arsenal officials are quietly confident over Di Maria.

Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail writes: “The Gunners will table offers for all three players once given the green light to proceed from Real chiefs. Of the three, Arsenal believe deals for Di Maria and Ozil will be the easier to conclude.”

Meanwhile, talkSPORT reports the following via correspondent Paul Breen-Turner:

Real Madrid have responded 'favourably' to Arsenal's approach for Angel Di Maria, with (Gareth) Bale's arrival at the Bernabeu expected to lead to the Argentine's departure this summer.

According to Mokbel, Arsenal have ushered in Richard Law for the final week of the transfer window. Law is labelled a “deal-fixer” who pushes negotiations over the finishing line.

The list of names handed to Law are ranked in priority, with former midfielder Mathieu Flamini said to be at the top of the pile, followed by Di Maria and Ozil.

Benzema had been at the summit of Arsenal’s targets, but that interest has waned since the French international's agent made it clear he does not want to leave Madrid for North London.

Valencia goalkeeper Vicente Guaita is also said to be on the shortlist, although as of last week Arsenal were reportedly reticent to meet the Spanish club’s asking price.

Aiding Arsenal’s bid for Di Maria and Ozil is the fact that Wenger may choose not to spend any money on his defence, which has looked surprisingly solid since Bacary Sagna was forced into the centre. However, that would represent quite the gamble by Wenger, who saw his defence torn apart by Aston Villa on the opening day of the campaign.

Laurent Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen and Per Mertesacker have all experienced unconvincing periods during their Arsenal careers, and it would be a bold move to base a title tilt on a squad that has such thin cover across the back line.