Arsene Wenger has conceded that there is little prospect of him adding to his Arsenal squad in this month’s transfer window. As they look to remain in contention for a first Premier League title in a decade, and with a series of recent injuries, there was an expectation from some quarters that Wenger would be active in January. However, with just over a week of the window remaining, he claimed to be happy to continue with his current squad.
“It looks very unlikely," Wenger said in reference to the prospect of making any signings this month, according to Sky Sports. "It is 23 January today and at the moment I must say we are not close to doing anything.
"I feel a bit guilty always going to a press conference during the transfer market and having nobody to announce [as a signing] but I don't want to lie.
“We have [Alex Oxlade-] Chamberlain back, [Nicklas] Bendtner back and I hope next week [Mikel] Arteta and [Aaron] Ramsey back, so I feel overall we have the squad needed. We have Yaya Sanogo coming back into the squad next week as well. Overall we have a very strong squad. If something exceptional turns up we will do it but having said that not everybody will strengthen. They buy, but buy does not always mean strengthen.”
With Theo Walcott out for the rest of the season and the squad already light up front, if Wenger is to dip into the market it is likely to be for a striker. It is believed that he has already failed in attempts to take Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata and Juventus’s Mirko Vucinic on loan for the rest of the campaign.
The Daily Star also believes that Arsenal have been considering a permanent deal to sign Porto’s prolific front man Jackson Martinez. While the Colombia international has also been linked to the likes of Chelsea and Napoli in recent months, a move to Arsenal in January always appeared highly unlikely. Porto are notoriously tough negotiators and have only been willing to sell Martinez for his €40 million (£33m) release clause. And the 27-year-old is now set to sign a new deal with the Portuguese champions, according his agent, Luis Manuel Manso.
"It is okay, I will travel to Porto next week to discuss the renewal,” he said, reports the Star. “There is already an agreement to renew.”
It will also cost huge money should Arsenal decide to sign another of their reported targets. Talksport reports that Arsenal are keen on Benfica striker Rodrigo, but they will have to pay in excess of £25 million to land the Spain Under-21 international. Rodrigo has also been linked with Valencia and Zenit St Petersburg.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror reports that Arsenal have not yet given up on hope on landing the man he supposedly hopes to transform into a striker, Julian Draxler, this month. A move has been mooted for the summer, but it is claimed that Arsenal are eager to avoid the greater competition that would exist for his services at the end of the season.
It seems highly unlikely that Draxler will leave Schalke in January. Not only are the German side in the Bundesliga, but his €45 million (£37m) release clause is only active during the summer.