Speculation has continued suggesting that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will push hard to bring Atletico Madrid forward Adrian Lopez to the Emirates in January.
Wenger is widely reported to be desperate to increase his attacking options in the next transfer window, with a story in Marca this week claiming that the Spain international was now top of his list of targets.
The Daily Mail now reports that the Gunners will launch a £15 million offer for Adrian, 24, in January and will send scouts to watch him in action for Atletico against Real Sociedad on Sunday.
If a story on Goal.com is to be believed, Wenger is already fully aware of the qualities Adrian can bring to Arsenal. According to the website, Arsenal were incredibly close to sealing a deal for the versatile forward in the summer. Indeed, a source is quoted revealing that Wenger tried to cancel the transfer of Olivier Giroud in order to complete the signing of Adrian.
“He tried to pull the plug on the Giroud deal to sign Lopez instead,” a source is said to have told Goal.com. “But by then it was too late and the Giroud transfer had already been signed off.”
With Robin van Persie having departed since Giroud’s arrival, there is now a vacancy in Arsenal’s attacking ranks. Wenger finds himself short of options in that department with Nicklas Bendtner and Park Chu-Young out on loan and Marouane Chamakh having looked desperately short of the standard required ever since a positive first few months following his arrival from Bordeaux in 2010.
With Wenger now apparently honing in on Adrian, a deal for another reported target, Fernando Llorente, appears unlikely. The Spanish striker is out of contract next summer and could well be available in a cut-price deal in January.
However, Juventus look to be in pole position to sign the 27-year-old and are ready to offer Llorente a contract worth £145,000 a week.
Another player on Arsenal’s radar who is out of contract next summer is Montpellier captain Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. The center-back was linked heavily to both Arsenal and Milan in the summer and TalkSport claims the two clubs could again go head-to-head for the France international in January.
The 23-year-old led his side to their first ever Ligue 1 title last season and has gone on to win his first caps for France during this campaign.
In other recent speculation, Arsenal are also linked with a move for Real Betis midfielder Benat. Wenger is targeting the playmaker to form an all-Spanish midfield alongside Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla, according to Spanish publication AS.
Spartak Moscow and Wolfsburg are both said to be interested, though it is the Premier League duo of Arsenal and Liverpool that are believed to have the financial power to meet the player’s release clause of €20 million.
Benat came through the ranks at Athletic Bilbao before moving to Betis in 2009 and won his first caps for Spain at the end of last season.