Arsenal Transfers: Calling True or False on the Big January Rumours

Mikhail TurnerContributor IIIDecember 24, 2012

Arsenal Transfers: Calling True or False on the Big January Rumours

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    Arsenal has been linked with moves for some top talent in January, and Bleacher Report is calling true or false on some of these rumours.

    Rumours usually result in much excitement for fans, as their favourite teams are associated with moves for top players.

    Arsenal is a prime example of such a situation, but the club rarely makes big moves in January.

    Arsene Wenger has stated there will be greater transfer activity, but those words have been uttered in the past.(via ESPN.co.uk)

    It's unlikely that Arsenal fans will see the type of moves they crave despite reinforcements being needed. 

    Part of that is down to club's recent Premier League results.

    The Gunners have climbed back up the EPL table and now stand in fourth place. They are still 13 points off the pace and unlikely to mount a significant title challenge.

    Arsenal may not fare so well in their other competitions. They have already been knocked out of the Capital One Cup and face an away trip to Swansea in their first FA Cup game.

    Things look even bleaker in Europe, with the English side set to face a very strong Bayern Munich team.

    Despite all this, changes are unlikely to happen. Whether it's the price tag, age, a bad fit for the team or Wenger just being Wenger, we'll see which of these rumours are true or false.

Simon Mignolet to Arsenal

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    The Metro reports that Arsenal may be interested in Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. 

    Verdict: False

    Arsene Wenger has continued to show faith in his current crop of goalkeepers. Wojciech Szczesny remains the cream of the crop in that department and will have the rest of the season to convince.

    Wenger has shown in the past that he is willing to stick it out with below-par players in a variety of positions.

    Szczesny certainly isn't below par, but some of his performances this season have shed doubt on his abilities.

Theo Walcott to Manchester City

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    According to the Daily Star, Manchester City may try to sign Theo Walcott in the upcoming transfer window.

    City was linked (via the Telegraph) with Walcott when the initial reports concerning his contract situation became common knowledge.

    The English attacker is still yet to sign a new deal with Jack Wilshere, the latest of his teammates to speak out on the matter (per Sky Sports).

    The situation is likely to be resolved without much positive news for Manchester City, though.

    Verdict: False

    Arsene Wenger has let a number of his players go to City in the last few years. He would be unwilling to let another top player join one of his main rivals.

    Simply put, Wenger would rather let Walcott leave for free during the summer before strengthening a rival during the middle of the season.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to Arsenal

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    Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is one of many attacking players who has been linked to Arsenal (via The Independent).

    Verdict: False

    Sky Sports revealed that the Dutch forward recently signed a new contract with his current club Schalke. That deal effectively ended any possible interest that Arsenal would have in the striker.

    Arsene Wenger may never have been interested in signing Huntelaar, however, as he already has a strong physical forward in Olivier Giroud.

    Though Arsenal could certainly use Huntelaar's prowess in front of goal, Wenger may not have wanted to dent the confidence of his French signing.

Thierry Henry to Arsenal

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    The Guardian reported in November that Arsenal was interested in re-signing club legend Thierry Henry on-loan.

    Verdict: False

    The New York Red Bulls shed even more light on the situation since that report, as disclosed by the Metro

    There was even more sour news for Arsenal fans from the Red Bull's Gerard Houllier. Here's what the club's head of global soccer had to say on the matter (via Yahoo Sports).

    For now, we have not had any formal request from Arsene Wenger to loan Thierry Henry.

    I am not sure both parties want to have this second comeback. I think Thierry needs rest. He is about to become a father and I think he will want to enjoy the break.

    Henry had a loan spell with the Gunners last season and provided some decent moments, including two game-winners.

    Arsene Wenger may have been hoping his legendary status and experience would revitalize his players a second time.

Demba Ba to Arsenal

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    According to Sky Sports, Newcastle forward Demba Ba revealed his interest in a move to Arsenal.

    Ba has since moved to clear up any confusion surrounding these comments (via ESPN.co.uk).

    Verdict: Still undecided, but leaning towards true

    There may still be a chance for the Gunners to sign the Senegalese forward. Newcastle's reported interest in Loic Remy may help the London club in that regard (via the Daily Mail).

    The major downside to that move is that the Toon's interest has seemingly been shot down by Marseille president Vincent Labrune (per Sky Sports).

    Should Newcastle make any headway in signing the French forward, then Arsenal would find it easier to sign Ba. They could just as well sign the Senegalese forward given the clause in his contract.

    Goal.com reported on Arsene Wenger's interest in signing a new striker, and Ba would represent quite a deal.

Stephan El Shaarawy to Arsenal

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    According to the Metro, Arsene Wenger admitted his interest in AC Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy.

    The Gunners boss had nothing but good words for the Italian striker and did not rule out a move for him.

    Verdict: False

    El Shaarawy has blossomed this season and leads both his club and the Serie A in scoring. While the youngster does fit the mold of an Arsenal signing, such a deal is unlikely.

    Shaarawy would not be willing to revert to a substitute role should he join Arsenal. There's also the fact that AC Milan would require quite a fee for the youngster.

    Sky Sports recently revealed that two of Milan's other attacking stars are looking to leave, and that would make it even more difficult to complete a deal.

Jose Reina to Arsenal

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    Arsenal has been linked with a move for Pepe Reina at various times this season, and The Mirror has some of the latest news on the situation.

    Liverpool's reported interest in Jack Butland is cited as a major reason why such a move could occur (via the Metro)

    Verdict: False

    While Liverpool may have a good chance of signing Butland, it would be foolish of them to let Reina go. The Spaniard has been one of the top keepers in world in past seasons and would still have something to offer.

    A move to Arsenal is highly unlikely in any case. Arsene Wenger will likely keep faith with Wojciech Szczesny throughout the remainder of the season.

    He has also shown enough faith in backups Vito Mannone and Lukasz Fabianski in the past to suggest any move in that department is unlikely.

    If Wenger does make a move for a goalkeeper, it won't happen until the summer.

Luis Gustavto to Arsenal

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    According to the Daily Mail, Arsene Wenger is interested in Bayern Munich's defensive midfielder, Luiz Gustavo.

    The Brazilian midfielder would fill a much-needed void for Arsenal as they try to secure a Champions League spot and possibly push for silverware.

    Verdict: False

    The Daily Mail's reported £10m fee is low for a player valued at around £13m by transfermarkt.co.uk

    If that's not enough, here's what Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes had to say about the player's recent injury (per Goal.com).

    It's a painful loss. I don't know how long he is going to be out for.

    He is an important player in my system and I hope to have him back as soon as possible. He's been having a good season.

    Bayern Munich is one of the strongest teams in Europe thanks to their depth in all positions. Gustavo plays a major role in that.

    While Arsenal certainly needs a player like him, it's highly unlikely he would join the Gunners.

David Villa to Arsenal

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    Arsenal was recently linked with a surprise move for Barcelona forward David Villa

    What's no surprise is Barcelona's unwillingness to even consider such a deal (per the Mirror)

    Verdict: False

    While it may have been exciting when the rumour first popped up, it was also utterly ridiculous. Villa has not played much for Barcelona this season, but is still an important part of the squad.

    That, coupled with his age and possible price tag means there is no possible way this deal would happen.

Adrian Lopez to Arsenal

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    The Mirror has recently reported that Arsenal may be looking to gamble on Atletico Madrid forward Adrian Lopez.

    While all the talk has been about his teammate Falcao, Lopez sparked some interest himself last season with his good form domestically and in Europe.

    Arsene Wenger's revelation that Arsenal would look for a new striker has led to increased speculation about the move (per Goal.com).

    Verdict: False

    Arsenal need's a goal-scoring threat, and Lopez does not fit the bill. For the majority of his career, he has shown a lack of end product in front of goal.

    While he would certainly bring a good work-rate as well as some skill and pace, Arsenal would not be able to wait for him to find his feet in front of goal.

Wilfried Zaha to Arsenal

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    Wilfried Zaha has attracted a lot of interest in recent times, and it's no surprise that Arsenal has been linked (via the Daily Mail) to the player.

    The Crystal Palace star and reported Arsenal supporter could switch clubs during the January window (per the Daily Mail).

    As the Mirror revealed, Arsenal will go head-to-head with Manchester United for the English youngster's signature.

    Verdict: Close to call, but more true than false

    Arsene Wenger's track record in developing young talent give Arsenal the edge despite Sir Alex Ferguson being no slouch in that department.

    The major uncertainty in this deal is whether or not the Crystal Palace boss will give in to either of the clubs in January.

    Should a January move occur, then Arsenal may have the upper hand. They require more attacking help than Manchester United and would certainly be able to give Zaha more playing time.