Arsenal Transfer News: Benzema, Walcott, Cirigliano And Hughes Discussed In Latest Speculation

  @JasonLeMiere on December 20 2012 1:08 PM
Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger will be expected to make significant additions to his squad in the January transfer window. Reuters

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has said that he will spend in next month’s transfer window if the right players are available. Wenger has come under increasing pressure to reinforce his squad with the club having had a poor run of form in the Premier League and crashed out of the Capital One Cup to League Two side Bradford City last week.

Following a new sponsorship deal, it is believed that Arsenal will have significant funds at their disposal.

“If we can add one or two exceptional players, we will do it,” Wenger said, according to Arsenal’s official Web site. “What we do not want to do is add players just because people put us under pressure to buy players. That is where we have to be strong enough. If we find a player who will give us something special, we will do it - but that in January will not be easy.

“We have money, and why should I not spend it if it is to find the right players? I believe as well the first and most important thing is to keep confidence in the players we have. If we are consistent, we can come back.”

According to Metro, one player that Arsenal may bid for is River Plate defensive midfielder Ezequiel Cirigliano. The Gunners have reportedly been scouting the 20-year-old Argentine in recent weeks, while Manchester City are also mulling over a potential £5 million bid.

However, River Plate are said to be after £8 million for the player who has been likened to Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano.

Having sold Alex Song and with Abou Diaby out with the latest in a long line of injuries, Arsenal could well be seeking a physical midfield presence.

Arsenal are also said to be keenly following the progress of a more creative midfielder in Derby youngster Will Hughes. Goal.com reports that the Championship club have placed a £5 million valuation on the 17-year-old to deter the growing number of Premier League clubs showing an interest.

Derby are believed to be eager to hold onto the talented England Under-21 international until the end of the season, however, their finances could mean that a significant offer is accepted in January.

Hughes has started in all but one of Derby’s 22 league matches this season, scoring twice and providing two assists.

It looks highly unlikely that Arsenal will make a big statement signing by luring reported long-time target Karim Benzema to the Emirates. There has been continued speculation about the France forward’s future at Real Madrid, but he has revealed that he is happy to remain at the Bernabeu.

"I know nothing of this,” he said, according to TalkSport.

"I feel very good at Real Madrid and that is where I want to be. It's the greatest team in the world and our story is not over." As well as potential signings, next month’s transfer window is also likely to be dominated by talk of Theo Walcott’s future. The winger’s contract is set to expire next summer and if he is not sold in January then Arsenal risk losing him for nothing at the end of the season.

While Walcott could negotiate a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club next month, Wenger has claimed that he will not be sold.

"No, that is for sure,” Wenger said, according to Sky Sports. “My gut feeling is that he belongs to this club and that I hope he will sign for us. I always am convinced he will stay.

"You never fix yourself a limit on financial restrictions. At the end of the day, can you pay what the player wants? And does it fit with your wage structure?

"I have always fought for the players to make money so I am happy when the players make big money. But it has to be made possible for the club to pay it.

"I believe the board will follow my recommendation if it is possible. We have a wage bill that has to be respected. When we go overboard and higher than it is expected, I ask the board to do it and most of the time they follow my demands."

Join the Discussion