Arsenal Reject Approach For Vital Player As Injury Crisis Deepens
Arsenal have a full blown defensive crisis right now.
Per Mertesacker is out for five months with a knee injury, Laurent Koscielny has yet to return to training after an extended holiday, and Gabriel Paulista is the only other available senior centre back.
With players thin on the ground, West Ham’s offer to take Kieron Gibbs on loan has been rejected out of hand, given Arsene Wenger physically cannot afford to lose another defender.
Slaven Bilic is keen to sign a left back after Aaron Cresswell was ruled out for four months after getting injured in pre season.
Gibbs has fallen behind Nacho Monreal in the pecking order at the Emirates in the last couple of seasons, and a loan spell across London seemed to make sense for all parties.
But, given West Ham’s objective of getting in the top six this season, Arsene Wenger is unwilling to let one of his squad leave for a potential rival, and has rejected the bid.
That leaves Bilic without a recognised left back for the upcoming season, with Sam Byram and Michail Antonio struggling there in pre season.
And, after their Gibbs approach was blocked by Arsenal, they may turn to Norwich’s Martin Olsson instead.
The Swede has a year left on his contract and was replaced in the Canaries’ first team by Robbie Brady last season, so would presumably fancy a move.
Other targets include Hull City’s Andrew Robertson – although that move could be affected by the fact that they only have 12 fit first team players and no manager – and Copenhagen’s Ludwig Augustinsson.
The Hammers have also made moves for Swansea City striker Andre Ayew, and are closing in on the capture of Jonathan Calleri from Deportivo Maldonado.
Looks like a busy summer for Bilic.