Mikel Arteta '50-50' on January Transfers; Talks Dani Ceballos Exit Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2020

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18: Mikel Arteta, manager of Arsenal gesticulates during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Sheffield United at Emirates Stadium on January 18, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said he is unsure if the club will make any signings in the January transfer window.

The Gunners have endured a season to forget so far, and although Arteta has steadied the ship to a degree since his arrival at the Emirates Stadium, they remain down in 10th place in the Premier League table.

Arsenal are still in the hunt for the FA Cup and will face Bournemouth on Monday in the fourth round. The manager was asked about possible incoming players at his press conference on Friday, per James Westwood of Goal.

"I'm not going to be discussing any links publicly," Arteta said. "It's true that at the back we've been short, but there are other positions. At the moment, I am 50-50 [on anyone coming in]."

Per Westwood, Arsenal have been linked with possible acquisitions in defence, with Shakhtar Donetsk defender Mykola Matviyenko said to be on their radar.

As Kaveh Solhekol of Sky Sports News relayed, Arteta was able to see the defender in action firsthand earlier in the campaign when the Ukrainian giants twice took on Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League:

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Ukrainian football writer Zorya Londonsk provided further details about what Arsenal would be getting if they were to bring in Matviyenko:

There has also been talk of possible outgoings at the Emirates Stadium, with Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos' future seemingly uncertain.

"I had a conversation with Dani," Arteta said of the speculation. "I heard about those things, but I have nothing to comment. He needs to get back to fitness and fight for his place."

Ceballos, who enjoyed a fantastic start to his loan spell this season, is looking for a way out of Arsenal in this window, according to Goal's Charles Watts. The Spain international has struggled to break into the team since the arrival of Arteta, with the 23-year-old's last appearance coming in November.

James Dall of ESPN FC noted that Arsenal are already lacking depth in midfield positions:

James McNicholas of The Athletic doesn't think the Spaniard would be remembered fondly at Arsenal if he was to depart:

Ceballos excelled earlier in the season, providing a thrust and ingenuity to the team's midfield. However, his consistency disappeared and an injury in November left him sidelined. Mesut Ozil's return to favour under Arteta means there is now more competition in the attacking midfield positions, too.

The Gunners are unlikely to compete for a top-four spot in the Premier League, as they sit 10 points behind Chelsea in fourth. Arteta will be keen to shine in the cups, although some acquisitions will be needed if they are to be serious contenders for silverware.