Arsenal are said to be exploring several options to bolster the center of their midfield in the January transfer window. Reports over the weekend suggested that one of the manes on Arsene Wenger’s list of targets is West Ham’s Mohamed Diame.
The dynamic 25-year-old arrived at Upton Park on a free transfer from Wigan and West Ham co-chairman David Gold has confirmed that Diame has a release clause in his contract. According to the Daily Express, the amount of that clause is £4 million, a price that Arsenal could be prepared to pay.
Diame has made a big impact already in his time at West Ham, but any move in January may now be severely hampered by the fact that the Senegal international picked up a serious hamstring injury on Saturday and is set to be out for 12 weeks.
The Daily Mirror, meanwhile, has reported that Bayern Munich defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo is also among Wenger’s targets. The Brazilian was a £12 signing from Hoffenheim in January of 2011 but has struggled to hold down a regular place in the first team, particularly with the big-money arrival of Javi Martinez in the summer.
Wenger would be prepared to offer £10 million for the 25-year-old, according to the Mirror.
Gustavo has scored three goals and contributed one assist in nine Bundesliga appearances so far this season.
With Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh likely heading off to the African Cup of Nations in the New Year, Arsenal also appear likely to enter the transfer market for forward reinforcements. The Daily Mail reports that a move to bring former striker Thierry Henry back to the club on loan is very much on the cards.
A similar deal was put in place last year, with Henry returning to the New York Red Bulls ahead of the start of the new Major League Soccer season in March. This time, however, Wenger is pushing to keep the 35-year-old until the end of the European season, according to the Mail.
If an agreement can be reached prior to the opening of the transfer window then Henry could make the first appearance of his third spell with the Gunners in an FA Cup tie against Swansea on January 6.
While Henry is worshipped by Arsenal fans, the supporters are likely to want Wenger to also spend some money on a big-name addition.
Newcastle’s Demba Ba has been one of the names mentioned, with the striker having a much-publicized £7.5 million buyout clause in his contract.
While the fee would not pose a problem for Arsenal, his reported wage demands of £80,000 a week could be a stumbling block, according to Metro. With that in mind, it is suggested that both Arsenal, and fellow reported suitors Liverpool, might lose out on a deal for Ba to big-spending Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala.
Ba has already scored 10 Premier League goals this season, to add to the 16 he registered over the last league campaign.