By Wayne Veysey
Arsenal have made Marouane Fellaini a contract offer as they set their sights on sealing a deal for the Everton midfielder.
|FELLAINI'S 2012-13 SEASON
This is less than Fellaini’s current €88,000-a-week wage at Goodison Park but Arsenal are expected to increase their informal offer during further discussions with the player’s camp.
It is understood that official talks will begin with Fellaini when he is given permission to do so by Everton, which is expected to be at some point this month.
Arsenal activated Fellaini’s buy-out clause a fortnight ago as they prepare to smash the €20m barrier on two marquee signings this summer.
A Gunners delegation is in Spain this weekend to tie up the signing of Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain, who has agreed personal terms on a deal starting at €117,000-a-week. Arsenal and Real will thrash out the fee for the Argentine, with the Londoners hopeful an offer around the €23m mark can close the deal.
Arsenal will then turn their attention to securing a second statement signing of the summer as Arsene Wenger makes full use of the biggest transfer kitty in the club’s history.
Fellaini is currently on his summer break, which has included time spent in the Spanish resort of Marbella, but the Belgium international is expected to return from his holiday next week.
Arsenal are in pole position to capture the versatile midfielder after making a concerted attempt to capture a player who has long been admired by Wenger.
New Manchester United manager David Moyes is yet to make a move for the player who worked under him for five years at Everton, which, given that Chelsea have dropped their interest in Fellaini, could leave the road clear for Arsenal.
It would be regarded as a considerable statement of intent if Wenger completes the signings of both Fellaini and Higuain.
Intriguingly, the Arsenal manager also retains a strong interest in Wayne Rooney but will not continue his pursuit of Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic if he captures Higuain.