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:
Kim Kallstrom didn't join in Spartak's training session in Abu Dhabi last night due to "slight injury." Football the same the world over!— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) January 31, 2014
There's amusement in the Swedish media about this potential signing. He's not Zlatan. In fact, they can't quite believe it.— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) January 31, 2014
Kim Kallstrom has arrived at Arsenal training ground to complete talks, medical and loan deal. Could poss play Sunday. More on live blog— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) January 31, 2014
Wayne Veysey of goal.com reports that Kallstrom's medical is complete, and a completed deal is imminent:
Kallstrom has completed #AFC medical. Loan move from Spartak Moscow should go through before the deadline.— Wayne Veysey (@wayneveysey) January 31, 2014
Sky Sports later reported the same thing:
SKY SOURCES: Kim Källström completes Arsenal medical #SSN— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 31, 2014
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:
Arsenal Wenger says he is 80 per cent confident Arsenal will sign a player today but ruled out move for Julian Draxler. #AFC— Pete O'Rourke (@SkySportsPeteO) January 31, 2014
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:
#afc Wenger says: 'at the moment we need more midfielders. We're still open on it."— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) January 31, 2014
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.
Would Kim Kallstrom be a good signing for Arsenal?
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 WhoScored.com—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:
From experience, if Wenger is says he's 80% sure of bringing at least one player in, the reality is much closer to 100%— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) January 31, 2014
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.