Having already seen Lukas Podolski depart, Arsenal are thought to be close to making their first signing of the January transfer window. The Gunners have seen two bids for young Polish midfielder Krystian Bielik rejected by Legia Warsaw, but his agent has spoken with confidence that a deal will soon be concluded to take the 17-year-old to the Emirates Stadium.
“We are speaking and hopefully we will find a solution,” Cezary Kucharski told The Guardian.
Legia Warsaw are thought to be after around €3 million (£2.6 million) for the tall, deep-lying midfielder who has made six appearances for the senior team. Bielik certainly appears set on joining Arsenal.
“I’ve made a decision [to join Arsenal] and I’m not going to change it,” he said. “I am looking forward to an agreement between the heads of the clubs. I realize that the negotiations may take some time. I am, however, confident it will happen soon.”
Manager Arsène Wenger has previously stated that he has made adding a midfielder to his squad a priority in the January transfer window. Yet, with little prospect of Bielik being considered for the first team immediately, Arsenal are still thought to be examining other options. According to latest rumors, however, they may have to wait until the summer to land their leading target. The London Evening Standard reports that Arsenal remain interested in Southampton’s France international Morgan Schneiderlin, but are now resigned to the close season being the earliest point that he could arrive from Southampton.
Schneiderlin was close to a move away in the last transfer window, before his club Southampton slammed the door shut on his exit. With Southampton now riding high in the Premier League, Schneiderlin recently commented that it was unlikely he would be allowed to leave midway through the season and that he would not push to do so.
Arsenal could also be made to wait to sign another supposed target, Wet Ham’s Winston Reid. The New Zealand international center-back will be out of contract at the end of the season and manager Sam Allardyce this week revealed that he expected the player to walk away on a free transfer while hinting that a deal may already have been agreed elsewhere. Yet, according to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal are pursuing a transfer for Reid in this month’s window. Such a move appears highly unlikely given West Ham’s strong start to the season, and Allardyce’s previous assertions that they wouldn’t consider selling him.
It could be a busy summer for Arsenal, with Petr Cech also linked with a move to Arsenal in the close season. After 10 years as No. 1 at Chelsea, the Czech Republic international has lost his place this year to Thibaut Courtois, leading to much speculation that he will soon be on his way out. Manager Jose Mourinho has said that there is “no chance” of that happening this month, especially with Chelsea’s third-choice goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer having recently departed. But The Telegraph reports that Chelsea would not block a move to Arsenal were they to make an approach at the end of the season. Competition, though, is likely to be intense, with Roma and Liverpool also having been linked.
Given the presence of Wojceich Szczesny and David Ospina, signing a goalkeeper would not appear to be a priority for the Gunners. But Szczesny’s recent errors in a defeat to Southampton coupled with the Poland international reportedly being fined for allegedly smoking in the showers after the game have led to suggestions that his future could be in doubt.