As Arsenal continue their search for a new manager to succeed Arsene Wenger after the Frenchman's 22-year reign in north London came to an end with a 1-0 win away at Huddersfield, it has become clear in recent days that their managerial vacancy has not put any of the club's transfer plans on hold ahead of this summer's window.
According to the Telegraph, the Gunners are expressing strong interest in luring Freiburg defender Caglar Soyuncu to the Emirates this summer for £35m. It is said that the Arsenal hierarchy are still pushing ahead with the move, despite a new manager not yet being in place at the club.
Mikel Arteta is now widely expected to be the man tasked with filling the void left by Wenger, but it is said that the Spaniard has not been consulted regarding the signing of the Turkish defender. The club's transfer business will now be conducted by the new-look management structure, including head of football relations, Raul Sanllehi, and Sven Mislintat, Arsenal's head of recruitment.
Regardless of the finer details, Gunners fans are already getting excited by the prospect of Soyuncu's arrival in north London, with the scouting of a quality player, the efficiency of the club in making moves before the start of the World Cup and the deal being done regardless of the managerial figure all of particular appeal to the Arsenal faithful.
Sven is in charge of recruitment now. Has been since he came in. (Auba MKH Mavroponos etc) Fine by me.— Nick AFC (@ChoppedInHaaalf) May 15, 2018
Don’t need a manager to buy players ..... if a players quality is proven no problem .— Pan (@Pantastic1761) May 15, 2018
The boy is quality— Gooner_esque (@gunner_winnie) May 15, 2018
Not all fans, however, are completely convinced of the wisdom of bringing in a high profile signing without first having the manager's consent.
Sorry but don’t agree with that approach the Manager or Head coach needs input here and if anyone decent gonna be employed they will want to have a say.— Ashley Manoff (@ashleymanoff) May 15, 2018
The signing of a player who may not fit in with the new manager's plans may, of course, prove to be problematic. The conducting of transfer dealings over the manager's head has presented issues at other clubs, and one fan even related the situation to that of a rival club.
Hope it works. That system is partly responsible for Chelsea's demise. I believe there can be a synergy btw Sven& d new manager— Martyn Excalibur (@martynRakim) May 15, 2018
For the most part, however, the sound of caution has been overridden with excitement and a welcoming tone from Gunners fans in anticipation of the potential new arrival, with some even jumping to comparisons with legendary counterparts in Soyuncu's central defensive position.
Looks like a young Puyol with the hair! Hopefully he is as good or even better!— Mabz (@ManLikeLaca) May 15, 2018
Though the comparisons to the Barcelona icon are indeed premature, the Gunners are certainly in need of defensive reinforcements this summer.
Club captain Per Mertesacker will now retire from his playing duties and assume a new role as manager of Arsenal's academy, whilst fellow centre back Laurent Koscielny has been ruled out until December with his Achilles injury.
Soyuncu's potential arrival at the Emirates could be just what is needed in the Gunners' efforts to add fresh impetus, solidarity and numbers to their defensive ranks ahead of next season.