At this time of year it's always easy to get caught up in the hype surrounding the January transfer window. Clubs are linked with a plethora of players, some which get supporters salivating with excitement, whilst others provoke an “oh no, you’re kidding” kind of response.
Arsenal are a club who have naturally been linked with a host of different players. Why? Well, they are challenging atop the Premier League table, a key player has just suffered a major injury and they are a little light in terms of forward players.
But over the course of the window, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has moved to rule out deals for a variety of players and in doing so, he has cut the Arsenal rumours list down to considerably conciser reading.
In fact, according to the club’s official website, Arsenal are some way off doing any deals as of yet:
So, Arsenal fans, if you didn’t fancy any of these players when you were initially linked to them, you can crawl out from behind the sofa now. Here are the stars that the Gunners won’t be signing this window, according to the Arsenal boss.
The Newcastle man has been a key player for the Magpies this season and has left many wondering whether Arsenal would rekindle their well-documented interest from the summer.
The Gunners lodged a bid for Cabaye back in August per David Ornstein of BBC Sport, leading to the Frenchman refusing to take the field for the Magpies' game against West Ham. But he has since been reintegrated and is playing arguably the best football of his career in the black and white strip.
Despite this, Wenger has already ruled out making a move for the former LOSC Lille man per BBC Sport:
On Yohan Cabaye, we don't look for a midfielder.
We didn't have Mesut Ozil or Aaron Ramsey and we still had three good midfielders and Mikel Arteta on the bench [for the 1-0 win at Newcastle].
As the Arsenal boss puts it, there would be no sense courting Cabaye with the riches currently at his disposal in midfield. This rumour and any potential deal looks dead in the water.
It’s the worst kept secret in football that Arsenal are after a striker, and the one rumour that has continued to linger throughout the course of the window is that Wenger would look at Dimitar Berbatov as the man to bolster his forward line.
Despite the player's links with north London rivals Tottenham, the Bulgarian would certainly be a forward capable of fitting into the Arsenal side from a stylistic perspective. The Gunners’ success this season has been inherently based on tight, technical and intelligent football. All attributes which Berbatov has in abundance.
But Wenger put the buffers on this deal by ruling out any potential swoop for the Fulham man in his latest press conference as noted by The Daily Mirror’s John Cross:
Now it remains to be seen whether Berbatov will leave Fulham for pastures new, or stick around to help Rene Meulensteen’s fight against the drop.
Wenger is often privy to bringing in young talent from the continent and some outlets have linked him to a move for AJ Auxerre forward Paul-Georges Ntep.
The 21-year-old Frenchman, who according to Colin Harvey of the Daily Star is also a reported target for Tottenham, Paris Saint-Germain and AS Roma as well as the Gunners, has really caught the eye this season. He has played 17 games in Ligue 2 this year, scoring 7 goals in the process per WhoScored.
But it’s not an avenue Wenger looks likely to pursue, with Auxerre’s president Guy Cotret stating there have been no formal discussions with the current Premier League leaders.
Per Harvey's aforementioned piece, Cotret states: "It's nothing. There is no agreement with Arsenal. There is nothing at all. Arsenal has not even expressed an interest in our club. We just received an offer for the player and it was Rennes."
Ntep obviously has an abundance of talent and if Rennes are unable to strike a deal for the player in this window, expect the Gunners to take a close look at him this summer.
Another young forward Arsenal have been linked with throughout the course of the transfer window is Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata, per Darren Lewis of The Daily Mirror.
With Karim Benzema having locked down the centre-forward role at Los Blancos, coupled with the emergence of Jese Rodriguez, Morata has found himself down the pecking order at the Bernabeu. A loan move was touted as a potential option for the Spanish U21 international and Arsenal seemed like ideal suitors to give him some much-needed minutes.
But Wenger has moved to rule out a deal for the player, insisting there are no formal discussions ongoing with Real Madrid per the Press Association according to The Guardian:
Nothing has changed because we are open to a possible solution and if something interesting turns up we will do it. It could be a loan as well yes.
We are not in talks, with Real about anybody.
Carlo Ancelotti made it clear at the beginning of this transfer window that no players will come in or out of the club during the mid-season per The Guardian. So for the time being, the 21-year-old will have to make do with a place on the bench.