Arsenal will take on Borussia Dortmund in a key Champions League encounter on Wednesday, and, if speculation is to be believed, Arsene Wenger would dearly love to see two members of the Germans’ squad running out at the Emirates Stadium on a regular basis. Midfield linchpin Ilkay Gundogan and attacking star Marco Reus have both been regularly linked with transfers to Arsenal in recent times and both have been the subject of fresh rumors in the lead up to the match in north London.
Gundogan’s passing and pressing were instrumental in Dortmund’s run to the Champions League final in 2013, but has only recently returned to action after missing practically all of last season with a back injury. Before his long absence, Gundogan was believed to be drawing interest from both Real Madrid and Barcelona, but in April he extended his contract to take him to the summer of 2016. While focused on getting back up to speed at the Westfalenstadion, the 24-year-old has not hidden his ambition to play abroad, with England one of the destinations foremost in his mind.
"Real Madrid made an offer for me but my club refused it," the Germany international said, reports the London Evening Standard. “At the time I had two more seasons on my contract. But also, my injury wrecked everything. I couldn't play for 14 months.
"Now I want to look forward and make up for lost time with sporting success. Playing outside Germany is one of my big goals. If one day I leave here, I'd like to play in Spain or for one of the big teams in England."
His teammate, Reus, will not feature at the Emirates having suffered an ankle injury at the weekend that will see him ruled out until the new year. Still, his 23 goals and 17 assists last season have been backed up with six goals and three assists so far this campaign and he is understandably thought to be courting attention from all of Europe’s top clubs, notably Bayern Munich. Jose Mourinho has, though, insisted earlier this week that his Chelsea side will not be making a move for the 25-year-old anytime soon, which the Daily Star believes improves the prospects of Arsenal, among other clubs.
“We don't want Marco Reus,” Mourinho said. “The market is closed and the player belongs to Borussia. We have top players in this position. No secrets, I have a fantastic relationship with the Dortmund coach and sporting director.”
Arsenal’s priority in the January transfer window, however, will surely be to bolster their already thin defensive options, which have been further reduced by injuries. According to the Daily Mirror, Wenger will make an offer for Ipswich Town’s Tyrone Mings. The 21-year-old is highly rated and, although currently impressing at left-back, is said to be seen as a long-term option in the center of defense. Chelsea are also reportedly interested in a player who could command a fee of £10 million.
Arsenal’s interest in Mings may be stepped up following reports that reported target Fabian Schar hs agreed in principal to move to Juventus on a free transfer when his contract expires at Basel at the end of this season. The 22-year-old Switzerland international will be able to sign a contract from January.