Arsène Wenger is preparing a dramatic £80 million spending spree in the final hours of the transfer window, with Arsenal hoping to sign Real Madrid midfielders Mesut Ozil and Ãngel di Maria as well as Palermo striker Abel Hernandez.
|Wanted: Mesut Oxzil (right) is wanted by Arsenal|
There is also interest in backup options, including Schalke's Julian Draxler and Chelsea's Demba Ba but Ozil, Hernandez and Di Maria have emerged as the main targets.
A final bid is also expected for Real Madrid's Karim Benzema but the France striker is keen to stay at the Bernabéu.
Ozil has also been made available by Madrid but Arsenal will be facing competition from Paris St-Germain and, should other deals not come off, potentially even Manchester United.
Wenger is a long-term admirer of Ozil, who has been offered to both Manchester United and Manchester City this summer and would be available for around £40 million. Draxler would cost a similar amount while Di Maria is valued at £25 million.
Wenger is highly unlikely to buy all three players but, depending on negotiations today, would like to add at least two new faces.
A striker is also wanted and enquiries have been made for Hernandez and Ba.
Arsenal have also considered launching fresh bids for Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Manchester United's Wayne Rooney but are well aware of the reluctance of English clubs to sell to a Premier League rival.
Arsenal know they might have to pay a premium to sign players on the final day of the transfer window and Wenger last night made the surprise admission that he would potentially stretch beyond his usual valuations for the right player.
The club's transfer record is still the £15 million that was paid for Andrei Arshavin in 2009.
"I'm ready to pay what we can afford, even if it's a bit over the mark, as long as it's not crazy," Wenger said.
"I'm not against spending but I want to add super quality to our squad. With 24 more hours maybe we can surprise you, maybe not.
"You will tell me that I'm always confident and I've delivered very little until now, but I'm confident, yes. Tottenham got a lot of money for Gareth Bale and they have to invest it, I can understand that, but the need is different for us. We need one or two super players and we've tried to add that."
Arsenal have also been offered Emiliano Viviano, the Palermo and Italy goalkeeper, but Wenger has been impressed this season with the form of Wojciech Szczesny.
Wenger is also now happy with his defensive options following the signing of Mathieu Flamini. Despite having his largest transfer budget since becoming Arsenal manager in 1996, Wenger has suffered repeated frustration in the transfer market this summer and is yet to make a cash signing.