Arsenal Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of December 30

BR-UK StaffFeatured Columnist IVDecember 30, 2013

Arsenal Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of December 30

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    The transfer window opens on Wednesday, and with it the giddy possibility that some of the Premier League's biggest clubs (and, more than likely, the rest too) open their chequebooks to reinforce bids for silverware at home and in Europe.

    Arsenal currently lead the pack in the Premier League, but many in the media believe the Gunners need to strengthen in certain areas if they are to hold onto their primacy over the second half of the campaign—particularly in attack.

    We will round up all the rumours surrounding Arsenal transfers right here on a daily basis.

    —LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY 3rd—

Arsene Wenger Rules out Dimitar Berbatov Move

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    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has played down reports linking the Gunners with a move for Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov in the January transfer window.

    The former Manchester United striker, 32, has been the subject of speculation ever since his agent claimed in December that he wanted to leave Fulham, as reported by Sky Sports.

    Premier League leaders Arsenal have been linked with a move for the Bulgarian, per Neil Custis in the Sun (subscription required), following recent injuries to Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner.

    Berbatov, whose contract expires this summer, is reportedly seen as a short-term option by Wenger. The Arsenal boss has also been linked to Chelsea striker Demba Ba, per Sky Sports, and Real Madrid youngster Alvaro Morata, reported by Jack De Menezes in the Independent.

    However, Wenger has distanced himself from a move for Berbatov by saying the striker is not in his plans.

Arsenal Preparing to Pay Diego Costa Release Clause?

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    Arsenal are preparing a £32 million bid for Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa, according to the Star’s David Woods.

    The Gunners have been soldiering on with a lack of firepower, but manager Arsene Wenger’s problems increased in recent days with injuries to Olivier Giroud and his understudy Nicklas Bendtner.

    Arsenal have been linked with a string of forwards in recent weeks, but it is Costa’s name that keeps cropping up.

    And Woods suggests Arsenal are ready to trigger the player’s £32m buyout clause.

Yohan Cabaye No Longer a Target for the Gunners

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    They chased after him in the summer—to such an extent that he became publicly unsettled—but it appears Arsenal will not be returning for Newcastle's Yohan Cabaye in January.

    After edging Cabaye's Newcastle 1-0 on Sunday, Arsene Wenger appeared to rule out a move for the France international.

    As quoted by The Times (subscription required), Wenger said:

    “On Yohan Cabaye, we don’t look for midfielders. Today, we had no Mesut Özil, no Aaron Ramsey, and we still had three good midfielders with Mikel Arteta on the bench.

    "There is no real need in there.”

Marseille's Valbuena a Possible Option, However

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    Cabaye might be a no-go, but it seems another France international might be moving onto Wenger's radar.

    On Monday, the Daily Mirror linked the Gunners with a move for Marseille playmaker Mathieu Valbuena, despite Wenger's comments about not needing any more midfielders.

    The Mirror reports:

    Another man touted as a potential new recruit in the European press is French midfielder Mathieu Valbuena.

    The Marseille playmaker is reportedly being sized up by Wenger and Co. along with Napoli and Atletico Madrid, according to Spanish publication El Mundo Deportivo.

    Despite Wenger ruling out any more midfield additions, the 29-year-old may be just the ticket to spark the Gunners in the second half of their Premier League title chasing campaign.