Arsenal's transfer activity seems to be coming down to the wire on deadline day 2014, with a number of reported targets still being linked with a move to the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger indicated he would be active in the transfer market following his team's 1-1 draw against Leicester City, and according to Italian newspaper La Repubblica (h/t to Football Italia), he confirmed on Monday he still wanted to sign a player when he said:
"I am not in Rome for transfer business, but until the end things can still happen. At the moment there’s nothing, though. What is my last wish on the transfer market? To sign a player before midnight."
Here's the latest transfer buzz as deadline day is drawing to an end.
The Gunners were reportedly very interested in Sevilla striker Carlos Bacca, but the Spanish club made a very clear statement that the Colombian forward isn't for sale.
As reported by Inside Spanish Football's Heath Chesters, president Jose Castro said: "We don’t have any offers for Carlos Bacca and we’re not going to listen to any."
Sevilla already lost Ivan Rakitic and Alberto Moreno to top clubs over the summer, and the club's reluctance to deal the mercurial Bacca this late in the window is understandable.
The 27-year-old has a release clause of €30 million, and while the Colombia international certainly is a great striker, Arsenal are likely unwilling to shell out that kind of money for a player who would mainly join as cover for the injured Olivier Giroud.
Bleacher Report's Guillem Balague confirmed there were no offers on the table for Bacca:
There is no offer for Bacca (Sevilla) from any Premier League team— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) September 1, 2014
The Spanish outfit likely would have played hardball with any interested club, and with little time left in the summer transfer window, Wenger wisely decided to shift his focus elsewhere.
The young centre-back is surplus to requirements at Manchester City, and according to Goal's Wayne Veysey, the Gunners are very keen on adding Matija Nastasic to the squad:
Arsenal still trying to sign Nastasic. #AFC also remain in for Reid. Failed to land Carvalho as couldn't agree fee with Sporting Lisbon.— Wayne Veysey (@wayneveysey) September 1, 2014
Arsenal have a solid duo in Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny but limited depth in the centre of the defence, with the inexperienced Calum Chambers currently the top option off the bench.
Nastasic joined the Citizens from Fiorentina and was widely hailed as one of the most promising young defenders in all of football, but an injury-marred campaign in 2013-14 and the arrival of Eliaquim Mangala pushed his stock way down.
According to BBC Sport's Phil McNulty, little progress was being made on a potential deal:
Man City fully expect Alvaro Negredo deal to be completed tonight. Nothing moving on Nastasic loan interest.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) September 1, 2014
While City no longer appear to have any use for the Serb, it is unlikely they would allow the youngster to join a direct rival for anything below market price.
His progress may have been stunted by injury, but his potential is still too great for the defending Premier League champions to risk him turning into a world-class defender with another English club.
Arsenal's interest in Nastasic likely comes from the club's inability to sign William Carvalho, as shared by Veysey. Metro elaborated on the report, quoting Portuguese journalist Goncalo Lopes, who claims the Gunners' late offer to Sporting Lisbon fell short of their minimum price:
Arsenal made a late offer for William Carvalho. Too short.— Gonçalo Lopes (@_GoncaloLopes) September 1, 2014
While no details of the actual offer are mentioned, it's reported to be well shy of the £37 million valuation the Portuguese club have of their star midfielder, per Metro.
Carvalho emerged as a future superstar during the 2013-14 season, excelling as a holding midfielder for Sporting. While plenty of fans were unfamiliar with the 22-year-old, scouts were raving about his potential to be both an impact player and future world-class performer.
TalkSPORT's Kevin Hatchard was still somewhat surprised with the frustration fans expressed over the deal falling through on social media:
The Portuguese international will likely stay put in Portugal for now and become an option on the market when it reopens in January. Still in need of an enforcer in the centre of the pitch, expect the Gunners to once again be in the chase for his signature.