World Football

Arsenal Transfer News: Nikola Zigic's Agent Claims Offer Before Reported Medical

Birmingham's Nikola Zigic, from Serbia, reacts after missing a shot against Sporting Braga during their Europa League group H soccer match at the Municipal Stadium, Braga, Portugal, Wednesday Nov. 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Paulo Duarte)
Paulo Duarte/Associated Press
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2014

Nikola Zigic could make the leap from Championship relegation scrap to Champions League contender after it emerged Arsenal see the Serbian as cover for the injured Olivier Giroud.

Zigic aided Birmingham City in avoiding the drop to League One last season and is now a free agent. The Daily Mail's Simon Jones reported the striker is due in London for a medical before signing a short-term contract.

Jones quoted the player's agent, who told Serbian newspapers: "Wenger called me on Tuesday and stressed his desire to sign Zigic. He was offered a contract until the end of the year, with a view to it being extended to 2015—we’ll see what happens."

Darko Vojinovic/Associated Press

Giroud's ankle injury is expected to keep him out of action until the New Year, leaving the Gunners in need of backup in attack, with no recognisable senior front man among their ranks.

Arsene Wenger has utilised Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell in pre-season, with the alternatives being to field Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott or Alexis Sanchez in a more central role.

Talk of the potential move for 6'8" Zigic has prompted an array of comical responses from Twitter:

Zigic has one season of Premier League experience under his belt, having made 25 appearances during the 2010-11 campaign with Birmingham City, during which he netted five goals, per Transfermarkt.

It was also the 33-year-old who opened the scoring for the Blues in that year's League Cup final triumph at Wembley, a 2-1 victory that came against none other than Arsenal.

Nikola Zigic League Scoring Record In Last 5 Seasons
SeasonClubAppearancesGoalsAssists
2013-14Birmingham City3374
2012-13Birmingham City3595
2011-12Birmingham City35114
2010-11Birmingham City2554
2009-10Valencia1341
Transfermarkt.co.uk

Three years down the line and a strange twist in events could see the villain become an Emirates Stadium figure, although Jones' report does mention that a lack of involvement in the Serbian national team of late could lead to work permit complications.

This news comes on the same day that Anthony Chapman of the Express reported Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani as being a £50 million target for the Gunners.

Compared to that kind of club-record deal, Zigic pales in comparison, but it would be an acquisition not uncharacteristic of Wenger considering his intention to prolong Giroud's status as his primary frontman.

One obstacle in any potential deal may be wages, as Zigic was known to be on massive terms, especially for a Championship player, which Colin Tattum of the Birmingham Mail reported as being in excess of £60,000-a-week.

Arsenal may be desperate for cover, but even on a short-term deal, Zigic couldn't force such demands, specifically at a club who are known to have stricter policies when it comes to salary.

The poor timing of Giroud's injury has seemingly left the Gunners in a position where options of all shapes and sizes are being considered to fill the position.

All of a sudden, Nicklas Bendtner may not seem like such an unsatisfactory option for the north Londoners, his talents having since been signed by Wolfsburg after leaving the Emirates on a free this summer.

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