Arsenal are waiting to hear if a €30 million bid for Angel Di Maria has been accepted as Real Madrid refuse to sanction any outgoings until Gareth Bale’s signing has been confirmed.
The Gunners tabled a formal offer for Di Maria after securing qualification for the group stages of the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Madrid indicated during a week of discussions with Arsenal that they are willing to off-load the Argentine winger as they prepare to trim costs and free up space in the team for Bale.
But the bid has not yet been accepted and the Londoners will not be given the green light to hold personal talks with Di Maria until Real’s €100m world-record signing of Bale is finally secured.
Arsenal will have to persuade the 25-year-old Argentina winger to cut his ties with the Spanish giants and also see off competition for his signature from Galatasaray.
Di Maria’s public stance is that he wants to fight for his place in Carlo Ancelotti’s team although his position might change when Bale arrives.
Speaking to the Spanish press after setting up the winning goal for Karim Benzema in Monday’s 1-0 win at Granada, Di Maria said: "I understand the club are strengthening and they are precise in what they do. But I signed a contract until 2018 a year ago and my desire is to stay in the Bernabeu.”
Ultimately, Arsenal’s chances of capturing the player may depend upon Real’s desire to raise more money from sales, in which case they may encourage one of their attacking players to leave.
With Isco and Mesut Ozil both starting the new season in the team and taking up two of the three positions behind the centre-forward, Di Maria looks the odd man out for the Spaniards.
One player who is unlikely to swap the Bernabeu for Emirates Stadium is Benzema, who was also the subject of an enquiry from Arsenal last week.
As reported by Goal, Real chiefs told the Londoners they will not sell the French striker unless they first secure a replacement and, with only five days of the window remaining, the chain of transfers is seemingly too complex for Arsene Wenger to land him.
However, the move for Di Maria is now quite advanced and Wenger has also not given up hope of signing a marquee striker, with an audacious bid expected imminently for Wayne Rooney.
Chelsea have abandoned their pursuit of the Manchester United forward as they close in on the signing of Samuel Eto’o but Arsenal have privately been encouragement that the Premier League champions could be willing to sell them Rooney.
Wenger has not spend a penny on transfer fees this summer, with Yaya Sanogo and ex-Gunner Mathieu Flamini both free signings. Flamini signed a two-year, £50,000-a-week contract after reaching an agreement with the club following a final round of talks on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsey is struggling to be fit for Arsenal's marquee Premier League clash against Tottenham on Sunday.
The midfielder, who has begun the new season in outstanding form, picked up a groin injury on Tuesday night, when he scored both goals in his team's 2-0 second-leg Champions League win over Fenerbahce, and is doubtful for the weekend visit of Spurs.Goal.com