Florent Malouda wants out. He has had an outstanding season in the French Ligue and is a candidate for the PFA.
The Lyons winger is interested in the bigger clubs and has shown an interest in joining Arsenal. Malouda is a physical player with the strength of a Julio Bapista ( a big disappointment underscored by his dismal performance in his last game before he heads back to Spain) with tonnes more speed and skill. He would be a fantastic pick up. At 26 he has already had considerable match experience at the Ligue and national team level.
Other players that Arsenal should target is Franck Ribery, who has been talking about moving from OM. The only thing that can keep Ribery back is OM's entry to the big dance after years of mould. Meanwhile if I was Wenger I would be keeping a close eye on OM's midfield maestro, Samir Nasri. The man has been behind OM's resurgence and Wenger is the type of coach to nourish that talent. At 19, he might be too young but his temperament is that of a more mature player. There are question marks to the future moves of Reyes (who is most likely to be signed on by a Liga club), Flamini, Ljungberg, and even Hleb. So the Gunners midfield is a bit unsettled at this moment.
First things first. Arsenal has to make sure that Wenger stays on after this unsettling season and Peter Hill- Wood's words are encouraging in that regard. The big problem is that Wenger's relationship needs to be re-established with Dein's departure. Wenger's relationship has been complicated by the fact that his friend Dein was the one who encouraged F Stan Kroenke's hostile takeover. Dein was Wenger's inside man for so many years on Arsenal's board and they both enjoyed a harmonious relationship, so it is safe to say that Dein spoke for Wenger about everything to do with matters relating to the squad. An encouraging sign is that the Fabianski deal went through in the post-Dein era.
Wenger's philosophy has stood Arsenal in good stead in his ten years as manager and his way has been successful for a number of years. It is a matter of pride that they have been able to accomplish so much without the obvious financial benefits that takeovers have bestowed their competition. There is also the oft repeated mantra that the young Arsenal squad will be challenging for the title in a couple of seasons. Why panic? However I think that all that talent will get you to the top four but not the Premiership or the CL title. You don't necessarily need big named players like a Samuel Eto'o to break your bank on but experience like Malouda or Ribery's will be invaluable. Arsenal's defense has been porous at times and William Gallas has not been up to the mark even when fit. Plus, Gallas has been whining about the lack of respect he gets at the club. He might want to leave but the two good defenders that could replace him, Curtis Davis and Micah Richards are in multi-year contracts with their clubs. Gallas might settle down in his second season and live up to expectation which would be the best scenario.
Wenger will have a big meeting with the board to decide on how much cash to splash on the summer transfers. Gunner fans keep your fingers crossed and hope for a reasonable amount otherwise you will hear a lot more Kroenke rumours.