Arsenal Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of November 25
The January transfer window is just over one month away. As a result, the transfer rumour mill is beginning to kick back towards fifth gear.
For Arsenal, it is no different—despite spending over £40 million on transfer deadline day to land Mesut Ozil in the summer, many anticipate the club will re-enter the market for further acquisitions when the window re-opens.
Will manager Arsene Wenger re-open negotiations for deals that did not happen, or will new targets be found?
This tracker will be updated regularly with all the latest transfer gossip, so be sure to return frequently to keep abreast of all the information.
—LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY NOVEMBER 29—
Wenger More Interested in Mitroglou Than Cavani
Arsenal could make a move for Olympiakos' in-form striker Kostas Mitroglou, according to the Daily Star on Friday.
The striker, who helped Greece to the World Cup with his goalscoring exploits, is believed to be a more likely target than Paris St Germain forward Edinson Cavani—whose wage demands have put Wenger off making an approach in January, according to the same paper.
Nick Lustig writes:
The Greek international has been in sensational form netting 14 goals in 10 league matches for current club Olympiakos catching the eye of a number of top European clubs in the process.
The Arsenal boss admitted he has been keeping tabs on the form of Mitroglou, 25, after previously coming up against him in the Champions League.
"At Arsenal we know him well because we have played against Olympiakos in the Champions League," Wenger told Eurosport.
“He has both physical presence and the ability to finish in the box”.
Wenger is keen to add to his striking options in the new year and bring in some much needed support for forward Olivier Giroud, who has been heavily relied upon during the first three months of the season.
With Nicklas Bendtner expected to leave in the window, the Frenchman has earmarked Mitroglou as one of his main transfer targets.
Arsenal Also Keen on Alvaro Morata Loan?
The Daily Mail suggests that Arsenal are also keen on a short-term loan move for Alvaro Morata, after Tottenham were linked with the Real Madrid youngster.
Arsenal too need to find cover in attack, with Morata potentially a solid back-up option. However, Real are reportedly only willing to let the academy product leave on temporary basis if they sign another striker in January.
The Mail reports:
Morata has scored twice in 11 appearances this season but manager Carlo Ancelotti is only prepared to let him go if Madrid can sign a new striker.
Luis Suarez and Robert Lewandowski are the sort of calibre player that Madrid are looking for and the former wanted to join them in the summer.
According to rumours in the Spanish capital, if Madrid can sign a new striker then the door will be open for Morata's loan move.
Gunners Linked with Basel's Fabian Schar
On Thursday the Daily Mirror claimed that Arsenal are keeping tabs on Basel defender Fabian Schar, who may be available for £5 million in January.
According to the newspaper, Schar's versatility—he can play right-back or centre-back—particularly appeals to Arsene Wenger.
The newspaper says:
As reported recently, manager Arsene Wenger feels that he can snare the versatile Schar in the New Year after watching him impress for the Swiss side.
The youngster would be able to play in a number of positions for Wenger's side, with the Switzerland international able to operate as a central defender or a right-back.
Schar was part of the Basel side that beat Chelsea 1-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.
The former banking intern was also in the side that shocked the Blues 2-1 at Stamford Bridge back in September.
It is thought that Schar could be available for around £5m, and the Gunners are ready to swoop.
However, Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund are also reportedly interested in the defender.
Wenger Fancies €20m Betis Man Alvaro Vadillo?
Arsenal have been linked with a £16.5 million move for Real Betis youngster Alvaro Vadillo in the January transfer window.
Spanish newspaper Punta Pelota claims that journalist Pipi Estrada had told them the player "already has one foot" in the Arsenal, for a fee of around €20 million euros.
Arsenal have been linked with Vadillo since the summer, but there has been no public comment about any interest in the player.
No Arsenal Return for Thierry Hnery
Despite resuming training with his former club, it appears highly unlikely that Thierry Henry will sign for Arsenal on a short-term loan in January.
Arsene Wenger has stressed that Henry is training with the club only so he can maintain his fitness during the MLS off-season, with his current employers, the New York Red Bulls, not needing his services again until February next year.
In John Cross' piece in the Mirror, Wenger said:
They (former Gunners players) like to come back to Arsenal, to practise. When they can join in, they do.
They integrate well [with] the spirit of the team.
Nothing more than that!
Diego Keen on Arsenal Move: And Reuniting with Mesut Ozil
Wolfsburg midfielder Diego has acknowledged he would love to make a move to Arsenal.
Diego enjoyed a productive spell alongside Mesut Ozil when both were at Werder Bremen, and the Brazilian would jump at the chance to reunite with the German at the Emirates Stadium.
However, he claims Southampton are also interested in his services.
According to the Evening Standard, Diego said:
It would be the ideal destination for me because their style suits my characteristics perfectly. Of course I would say “yes” to Arsenal.
Southampton have great organisation and discipline and big talents like Adam Lallana. But again there is nothing concrete.
Playing in England is a very attractive proposition at the peak of my career but I’m focusing on helping Wolfsburg to get in the Champions League.
Karim Benzema Unlikely to Be Pursued
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been the one player most frequently linked with Arsenal in recent times, but it remains to be seen whether he will join former team-mate Mesut Ozil at the Emirates Stadium in January.
While Benzema reportedly remains key to any Real deal for Liverpool's Luis Suarez, the Frenchman has been an increasingly important performer for his current team in recent weeks—linking up well with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale behind him.
What is more, Arsene Wenger seemed firm at the weekend in his assertion that signing a player—Benzema's name not mentioned, but implied—during midseason rarely worked out for either club or player.
He also suggested the returns of Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski from injury would give him the options he needs.
Wenger said, according to The Guardian:
Look I am not against it.
I don't say I never make a mistake—I certainly made some. It is always difficult in the middle of the season.
If somebody is doing well somewhere the clubs do not necessarily want to sell him. They can wait until the end of the season.
Most of the time it is because we didn't find the right player.
When subsequently asked specifically about signing Benzema, the Daily Star reports Wenger as saying: "I don't think that's a good idea."
Nacho Monreal Wanted by La Liga Sides
Will left-back Nacho Monreal leave Arsenal in January to further his World Cup ambitions? The Daily Mirror seems to believe so.
Monreal has struggled for regular football with the Gunners this season, as Wenger often prefers Kieran Gibbs in the full-back role. However, the Spaniard needs to be playing regularly if he wants to go to Brazil next summer, and the Mirror believes Valencia, Real Sociedad and Granada are all ready to offer him an escape route.
For his part, Monreal has previously stated that being at Arsenal has helped him improve as a player, increasing his World Cup chances in the process.
Furthermore, Wenger will not want to weaken his league-leading squad in January, so Monreal may well end up staying.
Ciprian Marica a Target Again?
Arsenal's shortage at striker is an open secret, with Romania international Ciprian Marica one of the players briefly linked with filling the void at the end of the summer transfer window.
Marica, who was a free agent at the time, did not eventually make the move to North London. Instead, he has since signed for Getafe on a free transfer. Nevertheless, the Metro seems to think Wenger has realised his mistake and will again try to sign Marica—this time for a fee—in January.
This does not make much sense. Coupled with the fact that Wenger suggested last week that he would not sign a striker in January, it seems difficult to conceive of a situation in which Marica is an Arsenal player on January 31.
Nevertheless, we will keep you updated.
Maxime Gonalons Not After Midseason Switch
Arsenal were linked with Lyon midfielder Maxime Gonalons in the summer, but it appears a January swoop is off the cards.
The 24-year-old Frenchman said at the weekend that he is not looking to leave Les Gones midseason, despite links with the Gunners and Napoli.
According to BeIN Sport, Gonalons said:
I think I'll end the season at Lyon.
At the moment I hear a lot about some clubs. There are several rumours. I try to ignore them.
Above all I want to have a great season and take Lyon as far as possible. As for my future, we'll see at the end of the season.