Gunners face transfer upheaval

Ivory Coast forward Gervinho is confident an £11million move

to the Emirates Stadium “should not take long” to wrap up as talks

with Lille continue. However, while Wenger is on the verge of his

first major signing of the summer, it seems only a matter of time

before the departure of captain Cesc Fabregas to boyhood club

Barcelona is confirmed, with full-back Gael Clichy expected to

complete his £7million switch to Manchester City once he

returns from holiday. With the future of contract rebel Samir Nasri

still very much up in the air, as both Manchester United and City

look to test Arsenal’s resolve, Wenger is set to have plenty

stacked up in his in-tray when he heads back to London Colney. By

the time the squad jets out on a whistle-stop, but lucrative, tour

of Malaysia and China, Wenger will want things decided one way or

another as he aims to bond a unit capable of lasting the distance.

Gervinho, 24, hopes to be able to make an impression as soon as

possible, telling France Football: “At Arsenal it is a young squad

and I can fit in nicely. I can develop myself over there. “There

are only a few loose ends to tie up and they should not take long.

“I am going to Arsenal to play. The best risk to take is to look to

score goals and to play a lot. “In football you have to take risks

if you want to win. I’m going to Arsenal to win.” So far, Arsenal

have only confirmed the arrival of young defender Carl Jenkinson

from Charlton, while Southampton manager Nigel Adkins today

insisted there had yet to be an official offer for starlet Alex

Chamberlain. Wenger seems to have plenty of irons in the fire;

including Uzbekistan midfielder Odil Ahmedov, emerging Argentina

talent Ricardo Alvarez and Bolton’s England centre-half Gary

Cahill, who would cost around £17million. However, departures

are expected, although Denilson, Tomas Rosicky and Carlos Vela have

all indicated they will still be part of the squad going forwards.

The arrival of Gervinho would seem to push Nicklas Bendtner further

down the pecking order, but the Denmark striker could just sit out

the transfer window until the deal and club he want materialise.

Arsenal will break with tradition in heading on tour rather than to

Wenger’s preferred secluded Austrian training camp. With the small

matter of a Champions League play-off looming next month, Wenger

maintains the trip to the Far East will be more than just a

money-making exercise. Speaking before the summer break, Wenger

said: “It is an opportunity for us to develop our game, to see what

shape the players are in when they come back and also to see any

new players that we have. “It will be important to see how well

they can integrate with the team. “We will take the best possible

squad. We travel after the first week of training [and] everybody

will be back so the whole squad will travel.”