Arsenal have been linked with several central midfielders as the January transfer window approaches. There was much hope at the Emirates at the start of the season surrounding the form and return to fitness of Abou Diaby. However, the France international’s break from injuries did not last long and Arsenal have sorely missed his dynamism in the middle of the pitch since he went down at the end of September.
With doubts still existing about when Diaby will return to fitness, not to mention whether he will stay fit, it has been reported that Wenger will enter the transfer market next month.
According to the Sunday People, Arsenal are interested in another France international midfielder in Moussa Sissoko. The all-action Toulouse man could be available for around £8 million. Newcastle have also been widely linked to the player, but it is thought that if Arsenal make their interest known then the player would be likely to choose a move to the Emirates.
Sissoko, 23, is a teammate of midfielder Etienne Capoue, who was believed to be interesting Arsenal during the summer.
Arsenal have also been linked with a move for West Ham’s Mohamed Diame. The Senegal international only arrived at Upton Park on a free transfer from Wigan in the summer. However, Diame is reported to have a release clause of just £3.7 million, prompting the interest of other Premier League clubs, including the Gunners.
Goal.com reports, though, that West Ham are desperate to hold onto the 25-year-old and are prepared to offer him a new contract worth £60,000 a week, while also removing the buyout clause.
Diame has been a key part of West Ham’s impressive performances since returning to the Premier League, although any move could be complicated by the fact that he is currently out for almost three months with a hamstring injury.
A new midfield target may also have emerged with the Sun claiming that Wenger is monitoring the progress of Ghana international Afriyie Acquah. The 20-year-old is currently on a season-long loan at Parma from Serie A rivals Palermo.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Acquah—whom the Sun claim is valued at £8 million—has been likened to his fellow Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien.
Arsenal will reportedly have Acquah watched during next month’s African Cup of Nations.
Away from Arsenal’s midfield hunt, Spanish publication AS has suggested that the Gunners are interested in a surprise swoop for Barcelona right-back Dani Alves. According to Metro, Wenger sees the Brazilian as a potential replacement for Bacary Sagna, who reportedly could depart for Paris Saint-Germain in the New Year.
Alves was linked with a move away from the Camp Nou in the summer and has found his place under threat this season from youngster Martin Montoya and fellow Brazilian Adriano.
It would be a major surprise, however, were Arsenal to be the 29-year-old’s next destination. Alves is likely to demand a huge salary and that, along with his age, would not seem to fit with Wenger’s strategy at the Emirates.