Arsenal Transfer News: Gunners Begin Contract Negotiations with Marouane Fellaini

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Jun 22, 2013 04:13 AM EDT
Everton Marouane Fellaini Arsenal Mikel Arteta Ramsey Koscielny
Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini batlles for the ball with Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta in their English Premier League game, April 16"


Arsenal have started negotiations with Marouane Fellaini and his representatives, after triggering the Everton midfielder's buyout clause of £24 million ($37 million).

It is understood the Gunners have told Everton they are ready to match Fellaini's release fee and while talks over a move did not immediately begin, according to, negotiations have now tentatively started between the player's agent and the club.

Arsenal are waiting for the official nod from Everton and once it is given, Arsene Wenger and co. will go into overdrive for sealing the signing of Fellaini, with advanced talks expected to begin before the end of this month.

Gunners officials are thought to have flown into Madrid to hopefully complete a deal for Gonzalo Higuain over the weekend.

Once that move is sealed, the English Premier League club will turn their attentions towards Fellaini, with Arsenal opening with a £70,000 a week ($108,000) offer, which they will increase according to the progression of talks, according to the report.

If indeed the reports turn out to be true, it will be a major statement of intent from Arsenal, who with the Higuain and Fellaini transfer will break the club's record signing of Andrey Arshavin twice in a matter of weeks.

And that is something that Arsenal desperately need to do, according to former great Ray Parlour.

"The whole point in moving stadium was to try to compete with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona but now they are trying to compete with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea, who will probably get stronger next season," he told

"That's the most important thing for the fans, but now the club are in such a good state of mind with the stadium -- they paid off a lot of money on that -- and financially, they are in a very good situation.

"The players that work for him on a regular basis would be very excited to have the likes of Rooney in the side, Higuain, who is a very good player at Real Madrid, and Fellaini, who has had a great few seasons at Everton.

"That's the big question now, whether they can attract this sort of players to the club."

Parlour believes Arsenal already have a pretty decent squad, and quality, not quantity additions, in the summer will be key to the club's fortunes next season.

"When you look at the side they've got, they've got very good players but they have to strengthen down the spine of the team," the former midfielder added.

"Striker-wise I know Higuain has been mentioned and (Wayne) Rooney would be a fantastic signing for Arsenal.

"They maybe need another midfielder who can win the ball back as well. I think (Mikel) Arteta was fantastic last year but another player who can slot into that role just in front of the back four, which is so important in today's football, would be ideal.

"I definitely think they need another central defender too. (Thomas) Vermaelen was obviously in and out of the team last year and didn't really play a lot of football and we don't know what's going to happen to him this summer.

"And maybe a goalkeeper, when you look at the lack of competition at the moment for (Wojciech) Szczesny. (Lukasz) Fabianski did really well when he came back into the side, but I don't know if that's the answer or not.

"If they can get the right players, they will definitely be a force next season."

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