Arsene Wenger Hits 45m Panic Button

ARSENE WENGER was panicking last night as he tried to splash 45MILLION on new players. The under-fire Arsenal chief, boasting an 80m transfer war chest, landed 9m Germany defender Per Mertesacker and 2m South Korea striker Chu-Young Park yesterday. But a 22m bid for Rennes holding midfielder Yann M'Vila was snubbed and there was no movement on a 12m offer for winger Marvin Martin from Sochaux. Wenger, who has an astonishing list of 20 targets, also made a double enquiry for Everton duo Marouane Fellaini and Mikel Arteta. He had already done a 6.2m deal to bring Brazilian left-back Andre Santos to the Emirates from Fenerbahce. Wenger will be relieved to have secured 6ft 6in Mertesacker, 26. The 75-cap centre-back from Werder Bremen had a medical last night and will sign a four-year contract worth 80,000 a week. Wenger would like Blackburn's Christopher Samba alongside him, though not at the 16m quoted. Chelsea pair Alex and Florent Malouda are on the wanted list as well. But a creative midfielder to replace Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas is the priority, with Hamburg's 8m Dutch star Eljero Elia already lost to Juventus and Lille's Eden Hazard rated too costly at 37m.