Arsène Wenger has played down the chances of adding further to his Arsenal squad on transfer deadline day, but rumors continue that there could be one more deal in the works. Arsenal have already completed the signings of 17-year-old Polish midfielder Krystian Bielik and Brazilian central defender Gabriel Paulista. And Wenger stated after his side’s 5-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday that he sees no need to be proactive ahead of the closing of the transfer window at 11 p.m. GMT.
“I don’t think I will be busy,” he said. “We have done what we wanted and unless there is a huge surprise and somebody calls me - not the journalists, an agent - why not? At the moment, nothing, it’s very quiet.”
Earlier in the January transfer window, Wenger stressed that it was an established midfielder he would be looking to land on the back of several injuries to that area of his squad. With Aaron Ramsey now fit, Jack Wilshere nearing a return and Francis Coquelin having impressed since coming into the side, that need now looks reduced. Still, speculation continues to link the Gunners with a transfer for Newcastle United’s France midfielder Moussa Sissoko. The former Toulouse man is doing little to dampen talk as he continues to speak of his love for Arsenal.
“Arsenal made me dream when I was a youngster,” he said in his latest comments, according to the Daily Mail. “Patrick Vieira was my idol. I saw myself in him. For now, I'm a Newcastle player and I am happy at the club. I want to play in major competitions and I want to do it with this team.”
The Mail also reports that it would cost £20 million to prize Sissoko away from Newcastle. Especially given that he is a more offensive-minded midfielder of the kind that Arsenal already have in plentiful supply, it would be a major surprise were he to be at the Emirates before the deadline.
Another rumor that refuses to rest is Morgan Schneiderlin’s proposed transfer from Southampton to the Gunners. The France international appears a perfect fit to add some defensive acumen to Arsenal’s midfield, but there appears little possibility of Southampton sanctioning his sale midway through a season in which they are battling the Gunners for a place in the Champions League. Still, according to French outlet Le 10 Sport, Arsenal will make one last attempt to secure his services before the deadline with an offer of £25 million.
While Schneiderlin is a signing that would at least make sense for Arsenal, there appears little logic behind the club’s reported attempts to sign Valencia left-back José Luis Gayà. With Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal battling it out, a new left-back is likely near the bottom of Wenger’s list of priorities. Gayà, 19, has been a big hit in La Liga this season and has been linked strongly in Spain with a transfer to Real Madrid. A story in the Daily Star, though, citing “reports on the continent,” contains the claim that Arsenal are poised to activate Gayà’s £13.5 million buy-out clause. Given the complications involved in paying up buy-out clauses for players at Spanish clubs, there is unlikely to be time to push a deal through even were it on the cards.
Even more far-fetched are rumors, reported on by The Telegraph, that Arsenal could land Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani on deadline day. The theory suggests that PSG could land Emmanuel Adebayor from Arsenal’s rivals Tottenham, thus freeing up Cavani to head to the Emirates. The Uruguay international has been unsettled in the French capital of late, but it remains difficult to envisage any club paying the hefty fee that would be required to land him this month, let alone an Arsenal team already possessing Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck as striking options.