Arsenal Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of December 23
It's now barely a week until the January transfer window opens, with just the small matter of a hectic period of festive fixtures to negotiate first.
Sitting pretty near 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—especially other title contenders beginning to congregate at the front?
That certainly seems to be the view of the media, with the club linked to a number of different players almost every day.
We are collecting all those stories in one place, so click on for the latest rumours surrounding the Gunners. This article will be updated on a daily basis.
—LAST UPDATED: DECEMBER 27th—
Diego Costa Apparently Does Not Fancy Mid-Season Switch
If Arsenal are to sign a striker in January, then many expected it to be Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa, who—beyond being one of the finest footballers in Europe this season—is available for the cut-and-dried price of £32 million, due to a clause in his contract.
That situation had reportedly attracted the interest of both Arsenal and Chelsea, but it appears neither Premier League contender will be able to sign the striker in January.
As reported by the Daily Mail:
Atletico Madrid director of football Jose Luis Caminero is confident striker Diego Costa is not interested in a move to the Barclays Premier League in January.
Costa has scored 19 goals in 17 Primera Division games so far this season and has been linked with big-money moves to both Arsenal and Chelsea.
But Caminero believes the Brazilian forward, who has committed his international future to Spain, will stay in Madrid.
He said in an interview with Marca: "Right now Costa does not think of leaving, he is contracted to Atletico.
"He has renewed with us which is important. He has shown that he wants to continue at this club."
Pedro on the Radar of Both Arsenal and Liverpool
With the general consensus being that Arsenal need an additional forward in the January transfer window, it increasingly looks like Barcelona's Pedro might be the Gunners' most likely target.
The Spain international has hinted at some doubts about his future at the Spanish club in recent weeks, and on Monday the Daily Express reported that both Arsenal and Liverpool are strongly considering a move for the forward.
However, it appears the player's preference would be to remain with the Catalan club.
The Express reported:
The Spanish forward has seen first-team opportunities at the Camp Nou limited this season and admitted earlier this month that he was open to the idea of move in the January transfer window.
The Gunners along with Liverpool are among a number of top European clubs monitoring Pedro's situation and the 26-year-old admitted, despite being happy at Barca, he would have to consider his future if his playing time did not improve.
“I am happy with Barcelona, but things have to be evaluated every season,” he said.
“My goal is to try and stay at this club where I feel very valued and loved.
“When you play less you do not feel less important, but it is true that you notice playing fewer minutes and it is different.
“But I must fight for my only goal, which is to continue with Barca.”
Auxerre's Ntep Admired by Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger has publicly expressed his admiration for Auxerre's young striker Paul-Georges Ntep, a player who has indicated a desire to change clubs in the January transfer window.
The Gunners have increasingly been linked with a move for highly-rated Ntep, who announced this week that he plans to leave Auxerre in the January transfer window.
And Wenger has done little to deny his interest after heaping praise on the youngster in an interview with French television.
"Paul George Ntep has the potential to have a great future," he said. "It all depends on his mind, but he is a great prospect."
Ntep has already snubbed two offers ahead of the new year, including one from Qatar, while Roma are also thought to have made an offer for him.
Arsenal Set to Lose out on Sanabria to Roma
Arsenal have long been linked with the 17-year-old, but it appears they will lose out to Roma after the Italian club moved to meet the player's release clause.
The Mirror reports:
Arsenal are losing their battle to sign Barcelona starlet Antonio Sanabria—with Roma closing in on a deal.
The Paraguayan teenager is wanted by Arsene Wenger, but now the Serie A club have moved in with an offer.
Sanabria can move if any club pays the £3.6 million release clause in his contract and Roma are prepared to meet that next month.
The 17-year-old joined Barca's youth academy in 2009 and made his international debut for Paraguay in their 3-3 draw with Germany in August.