Arsenal could be in line to make one of the transfer deals of the summer, after Liverpool made contact to propose a swap deal for two major players.
According to ESPN sources, Brendan Rodgers’ side are prepared to let Raheem Sterling join the Gunners, but only in exchange for both Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs.
Arsene Wenger has been drawn on media questions linking Sterling with a move to the Emirates this summer, ever since the 20-year-old stated he would not be signing a contract extension at Liverpool.
And now it looks as if a deal could be in place to move the unsettled winger, in exchange for Arsenal’s English pairing of Gibbs and Walcott, who have both been knocked down the pecking order in their respective positions.
Liverpool have had to come to terms with losing their star men in consecutive seasons, with Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and now what looks likely to be Sterling also heading out the exit door under the reign of Brendan Rodgers.
Doubt has been placed over the future of Walcott, with the additions of Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck forcing the 26-year-old to drop to the bench on multiple occasions.
The winger has just one year left on his contract, and is no stranger to leaving the fans in anticipation after waiting nearly three months to put pen to paper back in 2013.
Walcott only came to light during the end of the season, as his hat-trick against West Brom earnt the English international a starting place in the FA Cup final, where he repaid Wenger’s confidence by scoring the opener, which the Gunners later went on to win 4-0.
However, he has just seven goals from 16 appearances this season, and Liverpool can offer the attacker regular first team football which is something Wenger can’t, but he will of course miss out on the Champions League.
Gibbs on the other hand was just as unlucky this year, the 25-year-old has only managed 18 appearances in the Premier League this season, with Nacho Monreal getting the nod at left-back following a stunning run of form.
The fellow England star would be a perfect addition to Rodgers side, who are set to lose Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique as part of a major reshuffle at Anfield this summer.
Attention is now being turned to the seriousness of this deal, and whether Arsenal can afford to lose two members of their English contingent, who contribute to the home-grown rulings that have recently been introduced.
The pair are currently worth in excess of £30million together, which is significantly less than what Wenger would have to pay for Sterling on his own.
But if Wenger is keen to hold on to his prized possession of Walcott, who inherited the iconic number 14 shirt from Thierry Henry, then that could spark the option of exchanging just Gibbs plus the extra cash.
The ability to throw a player like Gibbs at Liverpool shows we are now in a steady position financially, and the Gunners would have the ability to make up the extra money, which would be around £25m.
However, the departure of Nacho Monreal is unfortunately looking ever likely, with media reporting in Spain that the left-back is being targeted by Athletico Madrid.
Should that transfer pay off, Arsenal would have a position that only Gibbs can fill, and Wenger would suddenly reinstate the FA Cup winner into his starting eleven.
However, Gibbs could be frustrated with the year he’s had, and the assurance of regular first team football at a club of Liverpool’s stature would be hard to turn down.
In terms of the extra cash, Arsene Wenger has reassured fans he is willing to splash the cash, but only if the signing he is making is of the highest calibre.
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