Arsenal Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of December 9
It's only three weeks until the January transfer window opens, and with it the prospect of clubs moving frantically to strengthen their squads ahead of the second half the season.
Sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League table, Arsenal look better set than most. But will the prospect of a first major trophy since 2005 inspire Arsene Wenger to add one or more new players to give his squad some extra depth, improving their chances of that moment of glory?
That certainly seems to be the view of the media, with the club linked with a number of different players almost every day.
We are collecting all those stories in one place, so click on for all the latest rumours surrounding the Gunners. This article will be updated on a daily basis.
—LAST UPDATE: DECEMBER 12, 2013—
Wenger's New Deal Gets Closer After Champions League Progression
The Daily Express reports on Friday that Arsene Wenger's contract extension at Arsenal should be sealed soon, following the club's progression to the last-16 of the Champions League.
A three-year, £24 million contract extension had been widely reported in the media in recent weeks, but still has not been formally signed. However, the Express says that moment is getting closer after Arsenal edged into the knockout phase of Europe's premier club competition.
The Express reports:
Wenger insisted he would delay any contract talks until his side had reached the last-16 of Europe's elite club competition.
With their progress now secured, club officials will move to renew negotiations.
If Wenger does agree to fresh terms it is expected to be the 64-year-old's last contract with the North London club.
Griezmann the Answer to Club's Attacking Shortage?
Griezmann, who can play out wide or as a central striker when needed, would give the Gunners extra options in attack heading into the second half of the season—with the Frenchman reportedly available for around £20 million after the Spanish side slipped out of European competition this week.
Arsenal are chasing Real Sociedad winger Antoine Griezmann ahead of the January transfer window.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has already been promised funds to improve his squad in the new year, and two new attackers are among his list of targets.
A striker is the clear priority, but the Frenchman is also keen to add another genuine wideman, who can add competition to the squad.
Sociedad ace Griezmann is a long-term target and Arsenal are now stepping up their scouting of the player ahead of a possible bid in January.
Kurt Zouma Another Defensive Option for Wenger?
Could Arsenal try and sign Saint Etienne defender Kurt Zouma in January? That's the suggestion of the Daily Mirror on Thursday, as they saw the Gunners are one of a handful of Premier League clubs interested in the centre-back.
The Mirror report:
Arsene Wenger is ready to do battle with Jose Mourinho over French prospect Kurt Zouma.
Chelsea boss Mourinho is in pole position to sign Saint Etienne and France Under-21 defender Zouma and wants to land him in January.
But Arsenal counterpart Wenger is also keen on the £12million-rated centre-half after receiving strong recommendations from his trusted scout Gilles Grimandi.
Wenger is discussing possible January targets with his staff this week and Grimandi is advising the Premier League leaders move for Zouma.
Wenger is taking a keen interest and Zouma is keen on a switch to the Premier League, but Chelsea are hoping they can fend off Arsenal's interest.
Manchester City are also watching developments closely on Zouma, who is rated as one of the best young prospects in Europe but is banned until February over a horror tackle that broke an opponent's leg.
Andrea Ranocchia on Arsenal's Radar
Arsenal could make a move for Inter defender Andrea Ranocchia should he formalise a believed desire to leave the Serie A side, according to the Daily Express.
However, the Gunners may well find they have a number of rivals for the Italy international's signature, should they make a bid.
The Express reports:
The Italian international has fallen down the pecking order at the San Siro under Walter Mazzarri and is ready to seek a transfer.
According to reports in Italy, the final straw for Ranocchia came when he was benched against Sampdoria.
Ranocchia has previously risked the wrath of Inter bosses by stalling over a new contract.
That put the 25-year-old firmly on the radar of United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs and handing in a transfer request could give the English clubs the nudge they need to formalise their interest.
Arsenal Closing in on Calhanoglu and Sanabria
Arsenal are poised to offer young forward Hakan Calhanoglu a move to the Emirates Stadium in January, reports Gary Jones of the Daily Star.
The Turkey international, 19, has been compared to current Gunners star Mesut Ozil, and his agent Bektas Demirtas believes Arsene Wenger is set to make a move:
We know of Arsenal's interest.
I think they will make a concrete move in December or January.
Hakan and Hamburg has been a success story, our wish is that he stays here and continues to evolve.
And Arsenal could be in line to add Barcelona starlet Antonio Sanabria, 17, to their ranks after reports in Spain claimed the Paraguayan had agreed terms with a new club, as highlighted by Alex Richards of the Daily Mirror.
Julian Draxler Hints at Schalke Departure, Alerting Arsenal
Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler has hinted at some unhappiness at the club, giving hope to Arsenal that a transfer move may be welcomed from both parties.
Draxler, a Germany international, has been linked with Arsenal and Chelsea in recent times—with a £45m release clause the price either club will need to pay to lure him from the Bundesliga.
But, after recently seeing a shift in position for his club side, Draxler hinted on Tuesday that he could leave his boyhood club in the near future.
The London Evening Standard reports:
The 19-year-old has been tracked by some of Europe’s biggest sides in recent months, including the two London clubs.
However, the form of rookie Max Meyer in the playmaker role has seen the Germany international shifted out onto the left wing by manager Jens Keller, leaving the player unhappy with his current situation.
"I have now resigned myself to the fact that I am not welcome in the number 10 position here at Schalke," he told German magazine Kicker.
"I am still convinced to be as dangerous just outside the centre. Even though I perhaps am the only one who thinks this."
Draxler signed a new six-year deal in the summer, which includes a £45m release clause, but his latest revelation may encourage interest from the Premier League rivals once again.
'New Messi' Gauld Not Interested in Imminent Move
Dundee United starlet Ryan Gauld has said he is not interested in switching clubs in the January transfer window—regardless of the size of the club interested in him.
Arsenal are one of many major clubs who have been linked with the young playmaker in recent weeks, with the likes of Liverpool, Everton and even Real Madrid mentioned in dispatches. But Gauld himself has no interest in leaving in January, believing his development is best-served by staying at Dundee United.
If I were to move from Dundee United, I would have to think about what's best for me.
Playing abroad would be the best culture of football for me to play in.
At the moment I think I need to stay at Dundee United to progress.
To be the best I can be, I need to be playing first-team games.
If English Premier League clubs came calling now I would have to think what's best for me four or five years down the line.
If I was to go down there I would have to seriously consider what my chances were of playing first-team football and if I was stuck in the reserves would I enjoy that?
I can't just think that it is a big English club and I should jump at the chance to sign for them.
I would really need to sit down and weigh it all up and think about what's best for me in the long term.
Arsenal Monitor Coleman as Sagna Alternative
The Sunday People (h/t the Mirror) reported at the weekend that Arsenal will pursue Everton's Seamus Coleman, should right-back Bacary Sagna not extend his contract at the club.
Sagna's future has long been the subject of some speculation and Arsenal might now be pursuing back-up options in case the Frenchman departs in the summer.
Alan Nixon writes:
Arsene Wenger will make an ambitious move for Everton’s Seamus Coleman if Bacary Sagna fails to sign a new deal.
The Arsenal boss wants his French World Cup defender, who becomes a free agent in the summer, to commit beyond the end of the season.
Sunday People Sport can reveal that if he doesn’t sign, then Ireland full-back Coleman—who faces the Gunners today—is the first-choice alternative.
Coleman, 25, is now an Everton regular and recently signed a long-term contract, so his price could be as high as £10 million.
Wenger admires Coleman’s skills and non-stop running, but would still rather keep Sagna than splash out on a replacement.
The frugal Frenchman is still cautious with the cash and giving Sagna, 30, a new deal may be better value than paying for Coleman.
Yohan Cabaye Expresses Interest in PSG Move
Arsenal's summer transfer target, Yohan Cabaye, has praised French side Paris Saint-Germain, saying that he hopes they win the Champions League this season.
Talking to beIN Sport (h/t ESPN.co.uk), Cabaye spoke of recent rumours linking him with a move to the French capital, not exactly hiding his admiration for the club:
As far as I know, there has been no contact with Paris Saint-Germain. Who wouldn't want to join PSG today? Paris make other teams afraid in Europe, more so than last season.
I really hope they win the Champions League.
Cabaye's comments suggest that the midfielder would still be extremely interested in a move away from Newcastle either in January or the summer—although it remains to be seen whether Arsenal would still be interested, having added both Mathieu Flamini and Mesut Ozil to their midfield ranks since they were last credited with an interest.