Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he is still looking to bring a striker into the club this month, although his search continues to prove fruitless. With a season-ending injury to Theo Walcott, Arsenal’s need to sign an alternative to Olivier Giroud up front has increased as they seek to end a 10-year wait for a Premier League title. However, Wenger is remaining calm, with Nicklas Bendtner and Yaya Sanogo soon to return from injury.
“Ideally if it's possible we'd like another [striker],” he said, according to Daily Mirror. “I give you my phone number, if you find an exceptional (player), you can call me over the weekend. Ideally, though we have not found anyone.
"We are open to strengthening our squad if it's possible. But as well we have Bendtner back in the squad on Monday. Sanogo is back in the squad on Monday week.”
The latest forward to be linked with a move to the Emirates is Juventus’s Mirko Vucinic. Yet, while negotiations were reported to have taken place late last week, they are thought to have broken down with Arsenal only interested in a loan move rather than a permanent transfer.
Internazionale have since stepped up their interest, with negotiations thought to be ongoing over a swap deal involving their midfielder Fredy Guarin. Recent reports out of Italy, though, suggest that pressure from Inter’s fans critical of the deal could scupper the transfer. That would, in theory, reopen the door for Arsenal, yet it seems difficult to imagine Wenger sanctioning a deal, likely in excess of £10 million, for a 30-year-old.
Any distant prospect of Arsenal securing another forward on loan, Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata, also appears to have been extinguished. Madrid have stated all along that no players would be leaving the Bernabeu this month, although the 21-year-old had hinted in a recent magazine interview that we was considering his options having become frustrated with the further limiting of his first-team opportunities. However, Morata has now confirmed that he will be staying with Madrid -- at least until the end of the season.
“I have spoken with [coach] Carlo Ancelotti and the situation is clear,” he said, according to Sky Sports. "After many rumors about my future I can confirm that I am happy in Real.
"The club considers that I am necessary for the team and I have decided to stay until the end of season. I play for the best club in the world and I am obliged to improve my work. This is my mission. In the summer? I do not know, we will have to talk."
Meanwhile, Arsenal have been linked to Real Sociedad’s left-sided attacking midfielder Antoine Griezmann by Metro. And, having represented France at Under-21 level, the 22-year-old, has now claimed that he would consider a move to a big club, although there is nothing currently on the table.
“I am relaxed about my future at the moment," he told RMC, according to Metro. “I have not had talks other clubs yet. This is something to look at. “I want to play for a leading European team and I hope this can help me get a place in the France team.”
It appears unlikely that Griezmann will be replacing Tomas Rosicky in the summer, despite a report from Germany’s Bild suggesting Bayern Munich are interested in the Czech Republic international. Rosicky’s contract expires in the summer, but Wenger has continually insisted that he will sign a new deal. And, with the German tabloid’s story coming from British website Sports Direct, which in turn links back to Bild, there appears little substance behind the rumor.