Arsenal boss Wenger asks for £20m to secure Silva service  

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has targeted Valencia's David Silva as his one big summer transfer priority.

Although the Gunners struggled to raise the £13million to snatch Andrei Arshavin in a controversial postdeadline deal this month, Wenger has made it known the club will have to find the £20m from somewhere to land Silva.

The talented Canary Islander, an explosive attacking midfielder, is one of the most sought after players in Spain, with La Liga big guns Real Madrid and Barcelona both hot on his trail.

But Wenger has been encouraged by indications from informed sources that Silva would like to play in the Premier League and is attracted by the prospect of playing alongside Cesc Fabregas, a close friend since they first played in the Spanish Under- 17s team.

Since then his career has blossomed both at club and international level. He took over the role, as well as the No 21 shirt, vacated by Argentina star Pablo Aimar and quickly established himself as a worthy successor to the former Valencia favourite.

Now 23, he has matched the popularity of more established stars such as David Villa and Joaquin.

He is now a key part of Spain's European Championship winning team, scoring in the 3-0 semi-final victory over Russia in Vienna last summer.

But Silva will not come cheaply as Valencia will demand top dollar for a player who signed a seven-year contract in June 2007.


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