Arsenal Transfers: 5 Potential Cut-Price Signings for the January Window

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2013

Arsenal Transfers: 5 Potential Cut-Price Signings for the January Window

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    After taking just one point from three Premier League fixtures in January, Arsenal fans are understandably hoping for reinforcements in the January transfer window.

    The main barrier to the cavalry arriving seems to be Arsene Wenger's reluctance to overspend in an inflated market.

    With that in mind, here are five potential bargains that Arsenal could add to their squad in the remaining 10 days of the window.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Montpellier

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    If Arsenal are to wrestle Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa from Montpellier, they will have to move fast.

    A fee has already been agreed with Newcastle United, and the Magpies are reportedly hopeful of concluding a deal as soon as Tuesday. The price, according to the BBC, is a bargain £6.7m.

    However, Newcastle won’t be counting their chickens, especially after already being gazumped this month by Queens Park Rangers for the signature of Loic Remy.

    There is precedent for Arsenal swooping in to snare a French defender from under another club’s nose: Mikael Silvestre had undergone advanced talks with both Sunderland and Manchester City before Arsene Wenger coaxed him to London.

    Yanga-Mbiwa’s youth, versatility and athleticism suggest he would be a far more successful signing than his compatriot turned out to be.

Mohamed Diame, West Ham

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    According to the Metro, Mohamed Diame has turned down the offer a new contract at West Ham amid rumours of interest from Arsenal.

    His current deal is said by The Sun to include a £3.5m release clause, making him an economically viable option to bolster Arsenal’s midfield.

    Arsene Wenger has spoken recently about the unique qualities Abou Diaby brings to the team. However, his injury problems mean Arsenal cannot afford to rely on the Frenchman.

    Diame could provide an excellent alternative, as he shares many of Diaby’s attributes—strength, athleticism and a degree of creativity. 

Moussa Sissoko, Toulouse

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    Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko is another player with the potential to add some steel to the Arsenal midfield.

    In an interview with beIN Sport, the Toulouse president Olivier Sadran revealed the France international is no closer to signing a new deal with the French club. His current contract is due to expire in the summer, meaning that he could be allowed to leave in January for a negligible fee.

    At the moment, any link between Arsenal and Sissoko is mere speculation, but there is no doubt the Gunners would benefit from the Frenchman's uncanny ability to carry the ball through the midfield.

    When he gets up a head of steam, he can be hard to stop.

James McCarthy, Wigan

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    Some footballers play with such style that it's very easy to imagine them in the red and white of Arsenal. Wigan's James McCarthy is one such player.

    The Daily Mail claims the Gunners are ready to launch an £8m bid for the Ireland international. It seems a small price to pay for one of the Premier League's brightest young stars, who has his best football ahead of him.

    McCarthy's creativity and range of passing would allow Arsenal to give Jack Wilshere the odd rest, which could be invaluable as they compete on three fronts at the business end of the season.

Iago Aspas, Celta Vigo

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    Arsenal are bereft of attacking options. The departure of Marouane Chamakh to West Ham has left Olivier Giroud as the only pure centre-forward at the club, and he is struggling under the weight of expectation. Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas could help lighten the load.

    With eight La Liga goals already this season (via, Aspas is enjoying a burgeoning reputation on the continent.

    With his buyout clause set at £8.3m (SkySports), Celta are fearful they could lose their star man. Coach Paco Herrera has said:

    It seems that there is the possibility of a club emerging that are willing to pay the clause.

    In that case, if the player wants to go, Celta will not be able to do anything.

    As yet, there are no reports of Arsenal being in the chase. However, if they're looking for a player to add to their striking options at a reasonable price, Aspas fits the bill.