With Lukas Podolski now an Inter Milan player for at least the rest of the season, Arsenal are expected to press ahead with their plans to add to their squad in the January transfer window. Podolski completed his loan move to the Italian giants on Monday, and it would be a surprise were that to be Arsenal’s last activity in the transfer market this month.
With injuries currently ruling out Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, manager Arsene Wenger recently stated that his priority was to reinforce his midfield. However, it appears that the Gunners will have to wait for a man long linked to the Emirates and who seemed ideally equipped to bring some much-needed steel to the side. Despite pushing for a transfer last summer, Morgan Schneiderlin has stated that he now expects to remain with Southampton for the remainder of the season.
Also thought to be interesting Tottenham, Schneiderlin has been a key part of Southampton’s impressive first half of the season that sees them riding high in fourth place in the Premier League. And he has suggested that he won’t be trying to force through an exit this month as he did in the last transfer window.
“It's always difficult to leave in January,” he told French football show Téléfoot, according to the Daily Mail. “I think I'll finish the season at Southampton and we'll see what will happen next. I don't set my mind on these things anymore. What should happen will happen. Since this summer, I learned that you should never think that you're gone before you actually did.”
Arsenal have also suffered more than their fair share of injuries in defense, where the club’s options are already limited. With Laurent Koscielny and Mathieu Debuchy now fit, it remains to be seen whether Wenger still intends to sign a reinforcement, as he has previously suggested. If he does, he could again find that one of the club’s leading targets is unavailable until the summer. Among the center-backs most keenly linked with Arsenal has been West Ham’s Winston Reid. His manager Sam Allardyce has previously insisted that the New Zealand international won’t be going anywhere in January, although he now appears resigned to losing him when his contract expires at the end of the season.
“There is not future for Winston Reid at West Ham United at the moment,” Sam Allardyce said at a press conference on Monday. “The only future for Winston at the moment is that his contract finishes the 30th June. He hasn’t said that he is or he isn’t going to sign but you’d air on the back that he isn’t by the feel of it, by the look of it at this moment of time. So I’d say that its highly unlikely that Winston’s going to sign for us based on what people are saying to me.”
Certainly it now appears that Arsenal have some interest in Saint-Étienne center-back Loic Perrin. The 29-year-old was recently reported as something of a surprising target for the Gunners and he has confirmed that there has been an approach, although as yet not an official one.
“I was contacted personally. Arsenal are interested,” he told French publication Le Progres, reports the Daily Mirror. “But for now, there is still no contact with Saint-Etienne.”
The performance of Wojciech Szczesny in the 2-0 defeat to Southampton on New Year’s Day, when the goalkeeper was at least in part culpable for both goals, has led to further rumors that Wenger could be looking for a new signing between the posts. With Arsenal having only signed Colombia international David Ospina last summer that looks unlikely, especially with Chelsea now confirming that the most coveted goalkeeper around right now won’t be moving this month. Petr Cech has lost his place this season to Thibaut Courtois, but as third-choice goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer completed a transfer to Leicester City, Jose Mourinho stated that there was “no chance” that Cech would follow suit.