Arsenal line up move for Dzeko, Barry and Richards

Arsenal have lined up an ambitious treble swoop on Manchester City.

The Gunners have been linked with a host of stars this summer with Arsene Wenger keen to splash the cash. Ashley Williams, Marouane Fellaini, Gonzalo Higuain and Wayne Rooney are believed to be the club’s top target but with moves for the quartet not yet finalised Wenger has lined up alternative targets.

That could spell trouble for City according to with the French man believed to have identified Edin Dzeko, Micah Richards and Gareth Barry as potential signings.

Bosnian International Dzeko, also linked with a move to Chelsea, has emerged as the backup should a move for Real Madrid star Higuain fail.

A deal for the Argentine has been reported as nearing completion but that has yet to materialise and that has prompted Wenger to switch his sights to former Wolfsburg striker Dzeko.

The powerful striker has scored 30 goals in 77 games since his £27 million pound move in 2011 but despite his impressive goals to game ratio the 27 year old has struggled to seal a regular first team place. That has prompted talk of a summer move and with a number of club’s believed to be keeping tabs on the situation Arsenal could face a fight to land the 54 times capped Bosnian International.

25 year old Richard is believed to be contemplating his City future as talks over a new deal stall. The club are keen to keep the versatile defender but Richards wants assurances over his first team prospects before committing.

New City boss Manuel Pellegrini is believed to be keen to bring in defensive re-enforcements and with Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastic already established as the current back four Richards could find first team opportunities difficult to come across next season.

That could force the England defender’s hand with Arsenal ready to offer a guaranteed starting berth.

Gareth Barry meanwhile has also been linked with a summer exit from the Etihad. The former Aston Villa star is entering the final 12 months of his contract and has been liked with his former employers and Spurs as well as Arsenal.

The 32 year old Barry would cost potential suitors £3.5 million and Wenger could be tempted especially with a move for Fellaini likely to cost £22 million as well as a reported £140,000 a week in wages.

Barry would offer the Gunners some much needed steel in the middle of the park.

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.