Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Breaking Down Fact and Fiction of Latest Rumours

Pauly KwestelCorrespondent INovember 16, 2010

Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Breaking Down Fact and Fiction of Latest Rumours

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    Arsenal have not won the Premier League title in seven years and their fans are starting to grow restless. This season looks promising for the Gunners as they currently are in second place just two points behind leaders Chelsea. 

    However, many Arsenal fans feel that this team is missing just one or two pieces, and with the January transfer window approaching, they are hoping that manager Arsene Wenger will get active in the transfer window. 

    The club has been linked with moves for high profile players, but many feel this is just a ploy by the media to stir up excitement. Historically, Wenger has usually not been an active player in the transfer market unless it is to sell players. Instead, Wenger usually prefers to build up the young players in his squad. 

    Nevertheless Arsenal fans are hoping one or two moves can be made during January or this summer. Here is a look at 10 Arsenal transfer rumours. 

10. Shay Given: Manchester City

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    The former Manchester City no. 1 has been eclipsed by Joe Hart this season. Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini remained quiet over who his top goalkeeper would be this summer, and when the season started Hart is the one that got the call. 

    Given has found himself with a now near permanent seat on the Manchester City bench. Given has expressed his hatred for this and has openly desired a move away from the club. 

    City have announced that they will consider letting Given leave in January, allowing teams to start making plans to bring in the keeper. 

    Arsenal have struggled with goalkeeping in recent seasons, and fans want the team to bring in a proven keeper. Fans have been getting excited over the prospect of Shay Given coming to North London, but Scottish giants Celtic are also said to be interested. 

    Arsenal have gotten strong goalkeeping lately out of Lukasz Fabianski. If Fabianski has Wenger's trust, it is unlikely Arsenal will get active in the transfer market looking for a keeper. 

9. Sime Vrsaljko: Dinamo Zagreb

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    It has not taken long for many teams to notice 18 year old Croatian defender Sime Vrsaljko. Vrsaljko seems to be a target for many big teams in Europe including, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, and Bayern Munich. 

    One of Arsenal's weakest spots on the field is their back line, and many believe that Arsenal will in fact look to bring in reinforcements for their shaky defense. 

    Vrsaljko has been impressing and at just 18 years old he provides hope for a long term successful career. 

    Arsene Wenger will have a lot of teams to out-bid if he wants to land the Croatians services, but if Wenger decided he wants the player Wenger can make it happen. 

    Vrsaljko is the type of player that gets Wenger active in the transfer market. The reason being he is very young. Vrsaljko will not be a break the bank player, and at just 18 years old, he is within Wenger's target age. 

    While Vrsaljko to Arsenal is far from a fact, this rumour has a better chance of happening then many other ones. The biggest worry for Arsenal will be the amount of other teams involved, driving up the transfer price. 

8. Karim Benzema: Real Madrid

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    Karim Benzema has long been a target of English clubs, but he was involved in Real Madrid's summer 2009 shopping spree that also saw the club bring in Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo. 

    Benzema's career at Real Madrid could be described as shaky at best. He has struggled to find the form he had before he moved to Madrid and has struggled to get regular first team football at Real. These struggles would lead to Benzema being left off of France's World Cup squad. 

    Benzema has now said that he is open to leaving Real Madrid and teams are lining up their bids. He has long been a transfer target of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, and reports in the newspapers have said that Arsene Wenger is ready to enter a bidding war for the French striker. 

    Recently however, Aston Villa have jumped into the story by saying Benzema is a target for them to try to bring the striker to Villa on January loan move. 

    Meanwhile in Madrid, Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has said that he does not feel that Benzema's career at the Bernabau is dead, and he believes the striker will find his form. 

    It is hard to imagine Arsene Wenger getting into a bidding match with anyone, let alone Sir Alex Ferguson considering Manchester United's financial situation at the moment.

    With Mourinho believing that Benzema can still contribute at Real Madrid, the loan move to Aston Villa seems more possible. It would allow Benzema to play regularly and hopefully find his form, while allowing him to return to Real Madrid at the end of the season. 

7. Mamadou Sakho: Paris St. Germain

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    Arsenal have been reported to be very interested in 20-year old Paris St. Germain defender Mamadou Sakho. Arsenal scouts have been in Paris watching the defender for quite some time now according to the French Newspaper Le Parisian. 

    There are other teams who are also interested in the defender, with Arsenal's biggest challenge looking like it will come from AC Milan. 

    While Arsenal did bring in two central defenders last summer, Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci, they are still interested in bringing in a new young defender. 

    Squillaci is is nearing the age of 30 and Koscielny has failed to impress. 

    Reports are that the price tag for Sakho is considered to be around eight million pounds. For a 20-year old defender, this provides great value for your money. 

    Wenger does not like spending big bucks in the transfer market, and he also like bringing in young players. Mamadou Sakho allows him to bring in a young and needed defender, without forcing him to spend big bucks.  

6. Nicklas Bendtner: Arsenal

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    With Arsenal summer signing Marouane Chamakh off to an impressive start with his career at the Emirates it has meant less playing time for Nicklas Bendtner. Bendtner has been vocal about how he is unhappy with his new role and has expressed interest in leaving Arsenal in January. 

    With that statement, interest across Europe has started sparking up. Bayern Munich, Juventus, and AC Milan are all said to be interested in the Danish striker. 

    AC Milan are believed to be the favorites to land the striker as they are looking for a replacement for injured striker Flippo Inzaghi. 

    Bendtner has battled several injury problems over the last few season, but has been fit recently. Despite being fit, he has seen very little first team football at Arsenal this season. 

    Arsenal have a history of suffering several injuries a season, and therefore having Bendtner around for depth would be great for the club. But unfortunately you can't promise a player playing time by assuring him that people will get injured, and Bendtner's desire to leave the club will likely win out. 

5. Ibrahim Afellay: PSV Eindhoven

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    Arsenal were reported to being very interested in Netherlands midfielder Ibrahim Afellay. Afellay would have added depth to an already strong midfield, and could have provided cover should Cesc Fabregas move back to Barcelona this summer. 

    The 24-year old midfielder would have been right in Arsene Wenger's target zone for age, and his value was only around 3 million Euro's, a perfect fit for Wenger. 

    While Arsenal fans were getting excited about the prospect of the Dutch midfielder coming to the Emirates, it was not to be as this rumour could be reported as 100% fiction. 

    On Monday, Spanish giants Barcelona and Afellay's club PSV Eindhoven announced that the two clubs had agreed on a 3 million Euro transfer for the Dutch star in January. 

    Afellay should fit right in to Barcelona's 4-3-3 formation, as it is very similar to what the Dutch national teams plays. 

    The transfer is not yet complete as Barcelona and Afellay have yet to work out the personal details. While you may hold out hope that the two cannot come to an agreement, that is far from likely as Afellay has been outspoken about how excited he is to move to Camp Nou. 

4. Mark Schwarzer: Fulham

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    Mark Schwarzer was a big summer target for Arsene Wenger as he has been looking to bring in a solid goalkeeper. While Schwarzer is 38 years old, he would still provide stability at the back for Arsenal very similar to the way Edwin Van Der Sar has for Manchester United. 

    Arsenal had two summer bid rejected by Fulham for Schwarzer but are expected to try again this January. Arsenal are expected to launch a 2 million pound bid for the Australian goalkeeper this winter.

    Schwarzer has kept quiet about where he wants to play, but one thing stands out, he has not signed a contract extension for Fulham yet. Fulham manager Mark Hughes has said he is working hard to convince Schwarzer to stay at Fulham, but despite Fulham's efforts no extension has been signed.

    Reports are now saying that Schwarzer will in fact sign a two-year contract extension, but once again pen has yet to be put to paper on the deal.

    While Hughes works to convince Schwarzer to stay, Arsenal are hoping that the keeper wants to leave.

    Schwarzer was a target in January, and Arsenal have not lost any love for the keeper. They will make a move for the keeper in January, and he is higher on their list then Manchester City's Shay Given. Even though Wenger has stated he won't be making any signings in January, you cannot doubt that he is hoping that Schwarzer will be his goalkeeper for the second half of the season.  

3. Bojan Krkic: Barcelona

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    20-year old Barcelona striker Bojan Krkic is said to be unhappy at Barcelona and is looking to leave Spain. Krkic has mainly appeared of the bench for Barcelona this season, and has seen himself falling down in the pecking order of strikers for the Catalans. 

    Krkic's agent has stated that Krkic is a Barcelona player and is not leaving the club in January. Nevertheless a host of teams are interested in obtaining the striker. Inter, Juventus, Arsenal, and Manchester United are all monitoring the situation closely. 

    If Krkic remains unhappy at Barca, the team may look to sell him. Arsenal could be very interested in the striker as he is just 20 years old, which will still give him plenty of time to grow. 

    If Arsenal lose Nicklas Bendtner this January, they could look to bring in Krkic as a replacement, a move that many would see as an upgrade. 

    This move is rather unlikely, as there are still many conflicting reports as to whether Krkic will be leaving Barcelona or not. Meanwhile his price tag is set to be around 15 million pounds, possibly out of Wenger's spending budget. Furthermore, with many teams interested it could escalate into a bidding war, driving his price even higher. 

2. Gary Cahill: Bolton

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    Reports are now coming out that Arsenals no. 1 target for the January transfer window is Bolton defender Gary Cahill. With Arsenal continuing to look to sharpen up their defense, Cahill becomes a top priority. 

    Several teams are interested in Cahill, including Manchester United, Tottenham, and Liverpool. A recent report out of Italy though, claims that Inter are set to swoop in and steal Cahill from right under Arsenal's nose. 

    Arsenal seem to be the favorites to sign the defender, as it has been reported that Wenger has already made a formal bid to Bolton. Bolton chairman Phil Gartside has said he is willing to sell the defender because right now is when the Champions League teams will spend the money. 

    The Gunners initiated the move, after Bolton announced that they were putting the defender on the transfer market. Cahill would add a much needed physical presence to Arsenals defense. 

    Both teams are willing to do business with one another, but Bolton values Cahill to be around 15 million pounds, a fee that Arsenal may see as a bit too high. Nevertheless it looks likely that two clubs will reach some sort of agreement and Cahill will be North London bound. 

1. Cesc Fabregas: Arsenal

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    It was the biggest transfer story of the summer, would Cesc Fabregas leave Arsenal and join his boyhood club Barcelona. The Catalan giants have been very keen to bring the midfielder back to Camp Nou, and there were reports surfacing all summer long. 

    Fabregas spent the World Cup playing with several Barcelona players on the Spanish national team. After the World Cup, reports were coming out saying, several players had said that Fabregas expressed interest in playing with them at Barcelona inside of the Spanish dressing rooms. 

    In a World Cup victory celebration, several Barcelona stars threw a Barcelona shirt onto Fabregas as a joke, a joke that caused major controversy in the press.

    One of the biggest issues with the ongoing Fabregas transfer saga was that no one ever put an end to the rumours. Fabregas was very slow to pledge his allegiances to the Gunners, while Arsene Wenger was very quiet about the whole situation.

    Over the summer, as well as even before last summer, Fabregas has been very critical about Arsenal's desire to win, and their ability to bring in high priced transfers in order to win.

    Ultimately Fabregas chose to stay at Arsenal, and was assured by Wenger that Arsenal would be active in the transfer market. However so far it has been more of the same in regards to Arsenal's transfer policy.

    It is looking more and more like it will come down to Arsenal winning trophies this season if they are to have any chance of convincing Fabregas to stay. But ultimately it seems as if Wenger convinced Fabregas to stay for one more year, and that Cesc will be on his way to Camp Nou this summer.