Arsenal have yet to make their first move in the January transfer window, but one of their reported targets has provided further encouragement that he would welcome a move to the Emirates Stadium. With Arsene Wenger having previously stated that he had made bolstering his midfield options a priority in the transfer market this month, Newcastle United’s Moussa Sissoko has been widely put forward as a target. Having recently revealed himself to be an Arsenal fan, the France international, speaking over the weekend, went further in outlining his desire to join the Gunners.
“If Wenger calls me, I’ll have a man-to-man talk with him and we’ll see what happens,” he said, according to The Guardian. “Arsenal have always been the club of my heart. The transfer window is open, so things can happen. It’s not doing my head in too much. I’m still focused on Newcastle. If something happens or something doesn’t happen, so be it. I hope to sign for a big club one day but I don’t know when. Staying in England is my priority.”
Sissoko, who joined Newcastle from Toulouse two years ago, has been in fine form this season. Yet it is doubtful that he is exactly what Arsenal need. Wenger’s side continue to lack an authoritative, physical presence to provide more protection in front of the back four. Sissoko, however, is at his best as a dynamic presence given license to break forward.
Another reported midfield target is arguably not an ideal fit, either. Lucas Silva was recently voted the best defensive midfielder in Brazil’s top division, but is more of a passer than a ball-winner. Still, the 21-year-old clearly has a great deal of potential and the path could now be clear to sign him after Real Madrid appeared to rule themselves out of the running. Ancelotti has last month revealed his interest in the Cruzeiro starlet, but with his injured midfielders now coming back to fitness, he has backed away from a deal in the January transfer window.
“When I spoke about Lucas Silva we were looking at getting some of our injured players back,” he said, according to Spanish sports daily Marca. “Khedira is fit, Modric's recovery is going very well and that's why we have no need to dip into the transfer market.”
Wenger may also have to again think seriously about adding to his defense. Having only just got his first-choice defensive lineup back to fitness, Mathieu Debuchy suffered a dislocated right shoulder in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Stoke City on Sunday. Already with a lack of options at the back, the thought of the France right-back being out for some time could prompt Wenger into action.
It doesn’t appear, though, that he will be able to get Winston Reid. The West Ham center-back has long been a rumored target for the Gunners, but while his manager Sam Allardyce has said that he expects the New Zealand international to leave when his contract expires at the end of the season, he is adamant that he won’t be lured away this month.
“There’s no choice for me, he stays -- that’s it,” he said, reports Sky Sports. “If somebody makes a big offer then obviously the chairman decides, but for me he’s staying. The chairman decides whether the money is big enough, but for me he stays and I think that the way the club has improved, I think he will stay.”
Arsenal are also thought to be interested in Saint-Etienne center-back Loic Perrin. The 29-year-old has previously revealed that he had been contacted about a transfer to the Emirates Stadium, but he has again stated that there has been no official approach to his club.
“Frankly I don’t know anything,” he said, according to the Daily Mirror. “There are always rumors, even though Arsenal have inquired and have contacted my agent. But Saint-Etienne still haven’t been [contacted], and that’s the most important thing. Full stop. I’ve always said that Saint-Etienne is my club and that if I were to leave it would be to take the next step. And when you talk about Arsenal, you’re not talking about any old club.”