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Wenger eyes £28million Santi Cazorla replacement

Tuesday 3rd January 2017
The transfer window is upon us and Arsène Wenger has allegedly made an early move for a long-term transfer target. With Santi Cazorla's Arsenal future up in arms, the boss is done waiting for his recovery to take place. He needs a suitable replacement right now if Arsenal are to catch Chelsea in the title race.
Breaking reports from the Sun suggest Arsène Wenger is lining up a £28m bid for Juventus creative midfielder, Miralem Pjanić. The bid emanates from the Frenchman striking a verbal agreement with the player over the phone last week.

Despite only joining Juventus in the summer, the Sun say that the 26-year old answered the phone call from Wenger 'enthusiastically' and has always dreamed of playing in England. The midfielder joined Juventus from Roma for £25m on a 5-year deal, meaning Arsenal would have to buy out the player's contract before agreeing on a transfer fee.
Juventus, who had their #1 transfer target of the summer, Axel Witsel, snub them for Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian, would be hard pressed to sell the Bosnian. The Belgium midfielder will reportedly earn £300,000 a week in China, a wage that he couldn't turn down 'for his family'. A wage that Juventus couldn't offer him, they may also be powerless in stopping Pjanić from flying to London.

It's said that Wenger sees the Bosnian international as a long-term replacement for injury-prone Santi Cazorla. The Spanish midfielder underwent surgery for a chronic ankle problem in December and is set to be out until the beginning of March, perhaps longer. Cazorla, who turned 32 in December, has been a pivotal player in Wenger implementing his artistic brand of football. Without his presence, midfield creative duties have been heaped on to the young shoulders of Granit Xhaka, who has struggled to produce in a similar vein.

Santi Cazorla's Arsenal contract runs out in the summer and it's said that Wenger is having second thoughts over offering the Spaniard a new one. History has shown us that Wenger only offers over 30s new one-year deals, but it's said that Cazorla is looking to return back to Spain to finish his career. Many would point to Gunners' youth academy graduate Jack Wilshere as the Spaniard's replacement but reports that broke on Christmas day stated Wilshere is looking for alternative career options as Arsenal still haven't offered him a new contract. Wilshere's current deal expires next summer alongside the ones of Mesut Özil, Alexis Sanchez, Per Mertesacker and Kieran Gibbs.
So with his two most creative midfielders unsure about their futures, Wenger has made the bold move to bring Miralem Pjanić to the Emirates. The 26-year old has made 12 league appearances for Juventus this season, scoring 5 goals and providing 4 assists. The Bosnian has been an integral part of the Allegri's Juventus team who sit four points clear at the top of Serie A. However, the lure of playing in the Premier League may be too strong for Pjanić to resist.

It's said that Wenger sees the creative midfielder as the last remaining piece of the puzzle for his title-winning team. Arsenal haven't won a league title since 2004 and Wenger, who's contract runs out in the Summer, knows the only way he can justify an extension is with a league trophy. A long-term replacement for Santi Cazorla would go a long way in fulfilling that dream.
Mathaeus Abuwa

Arsenal fan with ample amounts of passion for both Cristiano Ronaldo & Real Madrid. I'm one of those bandwagonist hipster fans that will claim to know everything about football, but only watches the El Clasico outside of the Premier League. Forgive me, I'm trying. Oh yeah, #WengerOut. 

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