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Are an English goalkeeper and a Portuguese playmaker on Arsene Wenger's shopping list?

I haven't written about any transfer rumours here for a while, but the latest players to be linked with a move to Arsenal are interesting indeed.

With the end of the season fast approaching, Portuguese winger Ricardo Quaresma (pictured) is once again being touted about as a Premier League fan who wants to play in England.

Reports claim that Arsene Wenger may be able to land the talented 24-year-old for as little as £5 million because his current club FC Porto are involved in an alleged match fixing scandal that could lead to their relegation.

Personally I can't see why Quaresma would be available for as little as that given that both Liverpool and Athletico have reportedly had bids of more than £14 million rejected by Porto. Would Wenger be prepared to pay that much? I doubt it, especially with Carlos Vela joining us in the summer, presumably in that wide left position.

The other rumour involves a move for a goalkeeper...

According to various press reports, Le Gaffer may look to Wigan Athletic stopper Chris Kirkland for the princely sum of £6 million.

I have a couple of problems with this particular bit of speculation:

Firstly, Kirkland is notoriously injury prone - so much so that he's been at three clubs (Liverpool, West Bromich Albion and Wigan) in the last three years. So I doubt very much that Le Boss would shell out £6m for the 26-year-old.

Secondly, Arsenal last week extended Manuel Almunia's contract. I've never been a huge fan of Almunia, but he's had a very good season, so it would take someone special to oust him from Wenger's plans. And it's not that long ago that Arsene said even if Jens Lehmann was to leave the club, he would show faith in Lukasz Fabianski stepping up as second choice keeper.

The main thing about transfer rumours involving the Gunners is that they inevitably just turn out to be filler stories for the tabloids, as I can't recall one Wenger signing that has been touted up front.

But if he does dip into the transfer kitty in the close season - and I sincerely hope that he does - then I hope he has a striker or two in mind. Arsenal's football has been very pretty this season, but the chances that our forwards have failed to convert are criminal and with Eduardo da Silva unlikely to return to action in 2008, we need someone who can provide the finishing touch for his team mates.

Do you agree? Should a striker be Arsenal's main transfer priority for next season? Or are there other areas on the pitch that you believe we should strengthen? Share your thoughts here.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on April 8, 2008 10:24 AM in Champions League| News| Players| Transfers
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I reckon we need to improve the defence, because if any of the usual 4 are injured, the cover we have is very poor for one of the best clubs in the world. Senderos appears to be Cygan when he was younger, Hoyte really isn't good enough,maybe for a team like sunderland but certainly not Arsenal... i know these guys are young, but young players with potential dont cut it when you need results in the here and now.

Posted by: tom | April 9, 2008 10:34 PM

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