Arsenal Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of January 13
As we get into the meat of the January transfer window, juicy rumors and stories are beginning to flow more freely and more credibly.
Much of the media's focus is on Arsenal, who need a striker, a center back and potentially some insurance if key players like Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen leave this summer. And, since Arsene Wenger has shown that he is finally willing to spend money on good players, this year's rumors have a bit more credibility than they have in the past.
Here we focus on all the stories that emerge this week.
Goal.com reports that Arsenal have phoned Juventus to register their interest in Sebastian Giovinco, a small and technically gifted striker who plays off a big target man like Juve's Fernando Llorente.
The report is based off a rather vague quote from Giovinco's agent, which reads, "Giovinco and Arsenal? There is a request for information but not an interest that goes beyond that."
While it does not look as if this transfer will come to fruition, Giovinco is just the sort of player who could compliment Olivier Giroud up front and give Arsenal a different element without replacing the Frenchman.
Whereas Giroud is a large, do-it-all striker, Giovinco looks to create space for himself and others using his fleet feet. If Arsenal are interested in players like Giovinco, that is a promising sign.
Most Arsenal transfer stories focus on the Gunners' need to bolster their attack with a new striker, but one should remember that they only have three senior center backs.
Jamaal Lascelles would provide excellent cover without demanding regular playing time. The Nottingham Forest man is only 20 years old, and The Mirror reports that Arsenal have had a £5 million bid rejected.
As with Giovinco, if this story is true, Arsenal fans should be very encouraged. Lascelles is just the sort of player who could fill a short-term need and not rustle any feathers like a more established player might.
In perhaps the most interest-piqueing Arsenal transfer rumor of the month, Julian Draxler is being linked to Arsenal by almost every British newspaper.
Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph reports that Draxler's release clause is a hefty £37.8 million, which Arsenal will almost certainly not pay after shelling out about £5 million more on Mesut Ozil just a few months ago.
But Draxler is only 20 years old, and is already the focal point of Schalke's attack. Wilson quotes Schalke's general manager as saying that the player's future is somewhat beyond the club's control, and also cites Draxler's previous interest in a move to Arsenal.
If Arsenal could somehow drive a hard bargain and get Draxler for several million pounds less than his release clause, Arsene Wenger would have pulled another classic coup. This is certainly a story worth following.