Arsenal Transfer Prospects: The Top 10 Midfielders Wenger Will Target in January
The European winter is suprisingly close, ensuring harsh weather, the prospect of a white Christmas and above all, the January transfer window. A month of madness will soon commence, and almost every side in Europe will be eager to gain or relieve some sort of presence in their roster.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is expected to be particularly busy during the new year thanks to a budget of £50 million. The Frenchman endured an unfortunate summer which saw key midfield presences Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri depart the Emirates for a combined £55 million, and despite the late influx of deadline day arrivals, Wenger is still eager to acquire new talent.
The Gunners have superbly resurrected their season after a horrific start which included an 8-2 humiliation by reigning Premier League champions Manchester United. Despite a relatively fully fit squad which is playing strongly, the Gunners manager is eyeing midfield players with a desire to gain added play makers in January.
A large array of rumours have already surfaced, linking Wenger with a host of big name midfielders, and with an extended budget, anything could occur during 2012. Bleacher Report establishes the top 10 midfielders Arsene Wenger will target.
10. Marco Reus-Borussia Mönchengladbach
The German attacking midfielder, who can also operate as an out and out striker, has enjoyed blistering form this season, which has attracted large attention from a number of big name clubs in the Premier League.
Arsene Wenger has become particularly impressed with the 22-year-old who boasts eight goals in 10 appearances in 2011/2012 following 37 appearances and 12 goals last campaign.
An evasive and dynamic playmaker, Reus possesses impressive composure and power as a playmaker and has shown an emphatic clinical nature in his game. Wenger is rumoured to be willing to make a £15 million bid for the recent German international.
9. Paul Pogba, Manchester United
Arsene Wenger is said to be hugely eager to swoop and pinch highly touted teenager Paul Pogba from Sir Alex Ferguson. The 18-year-old is currently enduring contract negotiations with Manchester United, but is frustrated by the lack of first team opportunities arising at Old Trafford.
Wenger was reportedly tremendously interested in the Frenchman before United signed him in 2009 from French outfit Le Havre. A powerful, energetic midfielder whose imposing presence and incisive playmaking has drawn serious comparisons to former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira.
Pogba is tipped to scale huge heights if able to gain consistent football, and if Wenger can offer that luxury, United may be forced to sell.
8. Daniel Parejo-Valencia
The former Real Madrid starlet has struggled to gain consistent playing time since a summer move to la Liga giants Valencia with rumours of a diminishing relationship with the manager Unai Emery. This has endured rumours that Parejo is eager for a move come January, and Arsene Wenger, with a number of Premier League clubs, are eager to take advantage.
A smart and efficient playmaker who was the figure head of Getafe's attack last season, amassed 44 appearances and four goals, prompting interest from many clubs. Parejo possesses a similar presence to former captain Cesc Fabregas, which appeals to Wenger, and the opportunity to snare the 22-year-old at a cheap price heightens the appeal.
7. Esteban Granero, Real Madrid
The imposing Spaniard has drawn great interest from Wenger, and many believe a January move may materialize. Granero has become an impressive contributor for Spanish giants Real Madrid, but with a midfield consisting of stars such as Xabi Alonso, Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira and Cristiano Ronaldo, the 24-year-old is short of opportunities.
Last season, however, the midfielder amassed 32 appearances and two goals for Jose Mourinho. Granero is a quick and composed playmaker who would add energy and flair to the Arsenal midfield. Furthermore, the dynamo is rumoured to be available for £7 million.
6. Kaka, Real Madrid
Once considered the best midfielder in World Football, Brazilian ace Kaka is reportedly on the move from Spanish giants Real Madrid, with Arsenal viewed as a strong destination. The 29-year-old would become an emphatic acquisition for Arsene Wenger, adding immense quality and experience to the midfield.
The former AC Milan star has recorded 13 appearances and four goals this season, but is eager to depart the Bernabeu. Kaka is blessed with phenomenal vision and intelligence and has the natural calibre to lead the Gunners attack.
5. Tongo Hamed Doumbia-Rennes
The hugely imposing Frenchman has become a prominent target for Arsene Wenger and is considered one of the best young midfielders in France. Doumbia possesses a 6'3" frame and natural elegance, which has made him a promising target for Wenger.
It is rumoured the Frenchman could acquire the 22-year-old for as little as £8 million, and many believe the youngster can emulate Patrick Vieira. The Gunners scouts are continuing to watch Doumbia.
4. Marvin Martin-Sochaux
The 23-year-old has developed into one of the best playmakers in the French Lique 1, prompting mass speculation in the recent summer that a move to the Emirates would materialize. Martin was viewed by Wenger as one of the most effective replacements for Cesc Fabregas.
A dynamic, balanced midfielder whose creativity would thrive at the Emirates, the Frenchman's future is under much speculation, as Sochaux are well aware a number of big clubs desire their classy dynamo, who amassed 44 appearances, four goals and 17 assists last season. Wenger is eager to make a £14 million move for Martin.
3. Yann M'Vila-Rennes
The 21-year-old has developed into a target Arsene Wenger is desperate to acquire after becoming one of the strongest and most effective deep midfielders in France. In the previous two seasons, M'Vila has amassed 80 appearances for Rennes in which he has showed immense maturity and strength as a midfielder.
A summer move was seriously considered, but a deal failed to materialize. However, Wenger is eager to secure the France international and is prepared to pay excess £15 million if necessary. M'Vila, however, has attracted interest from Manchester United and Real Madrid.
2. Alexandre Song
The Cameroon international is currently on Arsenal's roster, but Arsene Wenger will be seriously targeting his 24-year-old, as the Frenchman hopes to extend Song's current contract at the Emirates. The midfielder's contract enters the final year in the upcoming Summer, and after the dilemma that occurred with Samir Nasri, Wenger is eager to secure Song long term.
The former Bastia ace is considered one of the best defensive midfielders in world football and possibly the best in England. A tough, tenacious presence whose energy and work rate is second to none. Considered a leader in this young Arsenal squad, Song leads from the front and must be maintained at the Emirates.
1. Riccardo Montoliv-Fiorentina
Italian Serie A outfit Fiorentina face a similar dilemma to what Arsenal endured with Samir Nasri. The Lilies have captain and star midfielder Riccardo Montolivo refusing to extend his contract, which ceases in the upcoming summer.
It is unlikely the 26-year-old will re-sign with Fiorentina, which ensures they will have to sell their captain in January or risk losing him for free in the summer. Wenger is a keen admirer of the Italian, who can cover a number of roles in the midfield and is renowned for his composure and leadership.
Montolivo has over 225 appearances for Fiorentina and is considered one of the best midfielders in Italy.