Arsenal are said to be stepping up their interest in Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha after again watching the highly-rated 19-year-old in action over the weekend. Zaha has starred in the Championship this season, with four goals already to his name, and Gunners scout Steve Rowley was again sent to monitor his progress in Palace’s 2-1 victory at Leicester on Saturday, according to the Daily Mirror.
The England international has also been linked with a January move to the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea, although Palace have claimed that he will not be allowed to leave for less than £20 million.
Zaha is seen by some as a potential replacement for the unsettled Theo Walcott, whose current contract is set to expire next summer.
Another player mentioned of late as a replacement for Walcott is Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa. Arsene Wenger is ready to step up his interest in the France international in January, should Walcott be moved on, according to the Daily Star.
The 25-year-old has finally started to fulfill his potential at St James’ Park after a troubled early career. The Star reports that Wenger was also an admirer of Ben Arfa when he was at Marseille, before moving to Newcastle.
While the Magpies would be loathed to lose one of their more influential players, owner Mike Ashley has previously shown that he is willing to sell any player if the price is right. Given Arsenal’s unwillingness to pay over the odds, a deal between the two parties would seem unlikely.
Arsenal have also been mentioned in connection with another France attacking midfielder in Yoann Gourcuff. The 26-year-old has just returned from injury for Lyon, but the club have suggested that he could leave if a satisfactory offer arrives. Sky Sports reports that the Gunners have, in the past, been admirers of the former Bordeaux star.
"He needs to win back his position in the team after his knee injury," Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas said, according to Sky Sports.
"We hope he'll be in the squad for the Marseille trip. If he comes back, if he has good offers and if he wants to leave, we could sell him.
"We made a huge investment to sign him when he was the best French player.
"For now, we can't say this investment hasn't been economically interesting."
While Gourcuff has undoubted quality when at his best, his similarity to summer signing Santi Cazorla would make him a strange target for Wenger at this time.
Finally, Arsenal are linked in speculation over the future of Stuttgart midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic. The 25-year-old Serbian international’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season with Arsenal, Juventus, Inter Milan and Sevilla all monitoring his situation, according to Sky Sports.
However, Kuzmanovic’s agent has suggested that nothing has yet been decided about the player’s future.
"I have not been out to do any formal talking yet," Marco Naletilli said, according to Sky Sports.
"Neither with Sevilla FC nor with any other club. Personally I feel it is way too early to discuss the future of Zdravko Kuzmanovic."