Arsenal Transfer News: Arsene Wenger 80% Certain of Deal, Kim Kallstrom Likely

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2014

KIEV, UKRAINE - JUNE 18:  In this handout image provided by UEFA, Kim Kallstrom of Sweden talks to the media during a UEFA EURO 2012 press conference at the Olympic Stadium on June 18, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine.  (Photo by Handout/UEFA via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger is 80 percent sure he will strengthen Arsenal's title bid by signing a player before the transfer window closes, with Kim Kallstrom the most likely to come in, according to reports.

Updates from Friday, Jan. 31

John Cross of the Mirror has confirmed Kallstrom's arrival at Arsenal, while also summing up the feeling he isn't a long-term prospect for the Premier League title challengers:

Wayne Veysey of reports that Kallstrom's medical is complete, and a completed deal is imminent:

Sky Sports later reported the same thing:


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As tweeted by Sky Sports' Peter O'Rourke, the French boss is likely to welcome a new face before the deadline on Jan. 31, but it won't be the much-linked Julian Draxler from Schalke:

The Daily Mail Online revealed Arsenal have entered talks with Spartak Moscow for Kallstrom, an experienced midfielder who could offer decent cover during the latter half of the season:

It is likely the Swedish international would be acquired to ease the club's injury problems.

Arsenal will be without Aaron Ramsey for anywhere between "four to six weeks," per ESPN. Mathieu Flamini is sitting on a four-game ban after his red card against Southampton, while Jack Wilshere continues to struggle with fitness niggles, per the London Evening Standard.

Cross also suggests Arsenal are most likely to strengthen their midfield:

Those hoping to see Draxler at the Emirates before the end of the season are set to be disappointed after Arsenal reportedly failed to agree a transfer fee for the £37 million-rated midfielder, per Cross' report.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 19:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona (R) duels for the ball with Kim Kallstrom of FC Spartak Moscow during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between FC Barcelona and FC Spartak Moscow at Camp Nou on September 19, 2012 in Ba
David Ramos/Getty Images

Kallstrom's arrival would galvanise the club's strength in depth, but at 31 years old, the former Lyon player is a short-term solution for Wenger.

He isn't the type of player who naturally fits into the Gunners' free-flowing style—having completed just 70.2 percent of his passes this season, per—but the experienced midfielder will bring a doggedness to Arsenal's play.

The prospective signing is a decent technician and likes to shoot from range, although he does his share of the dirty work too. Kallstrom currently averages 1.5 tackles and 1.7 fouls per game, suggesting he is used to breaking up play by any means possible.

Kallstrom's only goal of the season came in the 4-2 loss to Zenit Saint Petersburg back on Sept. 28, but he has failed to hold down a regular place in the Spartak side since.

It's easy to see what Wenger's thinking is here, but that's not likely to satisfy fans who wish to witness Draxler in Arsenal colours. Even so, Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph believes the manager is closer to signing a player than he lets on:

Cross' report also outlines Alvaro Morata and Miroslav Klose as potential reinforcements for the team's attacking line, but right now, it appears Wenger has his heart set on adding to Arsenal's midfield ranks.