Olivier Giroud has said that he would welcome his former Montpellier team-mate Younes Belhanda to Arsenal with open arms, with the Morocco international likely to leave the French club this summer.
The 23-year-old formed a formidable partnership with Giroud when Montpellier won Ligue 1 in 2011/12, and has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur over the course of last season.
Usually used as a central attacking midfielder, Belhanda can also play on either flank, and has scored ten times in the French league this season. Arsenal might view him as the perfect man to help get the best from Giroud next season after a mixed first year at the Emirates for the striker.
There was speculation in the Spanish press at the weekend that David Villa had agreed a deal to join Arsenal, but the player himself has refused to be drawn on the rumours linking him with a move.
Tottenham Hotspur are also keen on the striker, but might fall behind Arsenal in the race for Villa as they failed to qualify for the Champions League, with Liverpool also apparently considering the player.
However Villa has said he is completely focused on his role in Spain’s squad for the upcoming confederations cup.
Victor Wanyama is set on a move to Arsenal this summer,according to Jean-Marie Abeels, the coach who worked with the youngster when he started out in Kenya.
Abeels says he is in regular contact with Wanyama’s father Noah, and that Arsenal are keen on the player, who views the Emirates as his best destination should he leave Celtic. Wanyama could be the ideal replacement for the injury prone Abou Diaby in Arsenal’s midfield.
In terms of potential outgoings, Lukas Podolski has used Twitter to dismiss the idea he will be leaving Arsenal this summer. Although the German striker said nothing directly, he retweeted several messages suggesting he was happy at Arsenal and looking forward to next season. Podolski has been linked with a move to Juventus and Borussia Dortmund in recent weeks.
image: © elnaimmi