Transfer Talk: Arsenal struggle to get cover as Chelsea set to spend big on Koulibaly

Any defender who isn't injured is on Arsenal's shopping list, while Mario Balotelli could be in line for a stunning move

Transfer Talk: Arsenal struggle to get cover as Chelsea set to spend big on Koulibaly

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger - Photo: via @Arsenal

On Sunday, as the folks at Arsenal TV rubbed their hands in glee waiting for the fans to pour out of the stadium and give them fresh, hot takes on the latest shambolic start to the season, Thierry Henry appeared on Sky Sports and asked if players really want to make the move to Arsenal anymore. 

"Something that drives me crazy is that it looks like players don't want to come to Arsenal," said the club's record goal scorer, referencing the decision of Jamie Vardy to stay at Leicester instead of joining the Gunners. He was joined in that by Riyad Mahrez, who signed a new four-year deal at Leicester, despite being linked with the London club on a constant basis this summer. 

While Arsenal might survive this season without adding another tricky attacking midfielder, they started the first game of the new Premier League campaign with the untested pair of Rob Holding and Callum Chambers at the back, which is worrying at best.

They've been out in the transfer market looking for cover, but have apparently been told that they'll need to up their offer of £16 million for Jonny Evans, while The Sun report that Pulis will flat out refuse to sell the defender to Arsenal at all. 

As they continue to negotiate for Shkodran Mustafi in an effort to solve their defensive woes (The Daily Mirror report that Valencia have said they will sell to balance the books), France Football report that there are two other defenders on their radar in the form of Marcel Tisserand of Monaco and Fabian Schär of Hoffenheim. The Daily Mail report that Jose Gimenez of Atletico Madrid is also on their radar, and will cost them in the region of £40 million. No rush anyway, it's not as if the season has already started and the window will shut soon.

Chelsea are still looking to complete some signings before the end of August, with their main target being Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly. They're willing to spend £60 million to bring the centre back to London, which is a whopping 16.7 million higher than their previous bid.

Another move for Romelu Lukaku is apparently still in their plans, but they may have some departures to deal with as Cesc Fabregas is rumoured to be uncertain about his future at the club. He has turned down the chance to join Juventus and instead wants to stay to fight for his place at Stamford Bridge, but Juan Cuadrado will head back to Turin on loan according to The Sun, as he has failed to impress new manager Antonio Conte.

Mario Balotelli is still a professional footballer, and is still on Liverpool's books, but they're doing their best to rectify that situation by moving him on to a new club. Having spoken to Jose Mourinho, it seems that there is a sensational switch on the cards for him to...Wolves? Yes, Wolves apparently, given there's a connection there with the Portuguese manager's agent Jorge Mendes. The Sun claim, in an even greater flight of fancy, that Port Vale are in the race for his signature too, but there is a limit to the level of nonsense that we're willing to put up with.

And the rest: Joe Hart will stay at Manchester City unless the right move comes along; Juventus are lining up a second bid for Alexis Sanchez; Manchester United are interested in signing Fabinho from Monaco; Adama Traore has told Roberto di Matteo he wants out of Aston Villa, after realising that it wasn't in fact a dream and he really had moved there from Barcelona; West Brom are back in for Jeffrey Schlupp with an improved offer after their £12 million bid was rejected; and Manchester United's James Wilson could end up at Fulham or Derby.  

Valencia are expected to sell Paco Alcacer and keeper Diego Alves to Barcelona; Danny Drinkwater has turned down a new £80,000 contract at Leicester after Tottenham expressed interest; Serge Gnabry could be headed to the Bundesliga with Hertha Berlin; Benfica, Sevilla and Valencia are all interested in Liverpool's Luis Alberto; and DeAndre Yedlin could be set to switch Tottenham for Turkey as Trabzonspor have expressed interest in signing him.