Benzema, Di Maria and Cabaye three Arsenal targets as Wenger plots transfer spree

Arsene Wenger is preparing to launch a late spending spree in an effort to overhaul the Arsenal squad in the final few days of the transfer window, the Daily Mirror has reported, with the likes of Real Madrid pair Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria and Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye on the manager’s shopping list.

Sevilla’s France international midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia is also on Wenger’s wanted list, as is Valencia goalkeeper Vicente Guita. Arsenal had reportedly offered £6m for Guita with Valencia wanting double that amount, but it is thought a compromise will be reached on a middle figure.

Meanwhile, there could be a shock return to the Gunners for Mathieu Flamini, who is training with his former club after his contract at Milan expired this summer. Flamini spent four years with Arsenal, between 2004 and 2008, before moving to Serie A on a free transfer.

His compatriot Cabaye will be the subject of a £16m approach, the newspaper claims, and is keen on playing in the Champions League, but would rather join Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, while Newcastle want £20m for their playmaker. Sevilla want the same amount for Kondgobia.

Madrid’s signing of Gareth Bale could encourage the club to let go one of their high-earners as they seek to recoup some of their world record outlay on the Tottenham winger, although Benzema is expected to be offered a new contract in an effort to keep him at the Santiago Bernabeu. Di Maria however will be made available to Arsenal.

There might also be an outgoing at the Emirates Stadium as Wenger mulls over a series of offers for Lukas Podolski – however the Germany international will only be allowed to leave if the buying club matches the £11m Arsenal paid for the forward a year ago, and Arsenal have replacements lined up.

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