As the final embers of the transfer window encroach, Arsenal are still to make any signings following the recent departures of Robin van Persie and Alex Song. Manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed he has money to spend that he is looking for a "special player," but Arsenal fans continue to wait with eager and anxious expectation.
In recent days Wenger has intimated that he is looking for a defensive midfielder and reports emerged on Friday morning that he had inquired about Chelsea's Michael Essien. The Daily Mail claims that Arsenal are seeking to take the Ghanaian on a season-long loan.
It is hardly the signing to grab the imagination of the Arsenal faithful, with a series of series of injuries appearing to have taken their toll on the 29-year-old in recent seasons. While Essien finds himself down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, it is unlikely that Chelsea will allow him to leave at this late stage-particularly to a close rival.
With Wenger also stating that he would consider a late move to strengthen his defense, Arsenal are also reported to be in the running to sign Ajax right-back Gregory van der Wiel. The 24-year-old is thought to be in advanced negotiations with big-spending Paris Saint-Germain, however French source RMC Radio claims that Arsenal are providing late competition.
Van der Wiel is first choice in his position for the Netherlands and has been linked with a move away from the Amsterdam Arena for some time. The player could well be seen as cover or even as an eventual replacement for Bacary Sagna, who is currently sidelined with the latest in a line of serious injuries.
Arsenal have also been mentioned as a possible destination for want-away Fulham star Clint Dempsey. The United States international is desperate for a move away from Craven Cottage, while Fulham are also ready to sell for around £7 million.
The 29-year-old was long thought to be heading to Liverpool, but Fulham have yet to receive a firm offer. Sunderland are also reported to be interested, while Aston Villa had an offer accepted by Fulham on Friday, but Dempsey rejected the deal as he holds out for a move to Anfield.
The Daily Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson claims that Arsenal are monitoring the situation as the deadline day progresses. Certainly, if Arsenal match Fulham's asking price, the chances of a deal look good. Earlier in the summer Dempsey, who has just a year remaining on his contract, claimed that he wanted to leave in order to pursue his desire to play in the Champions League.
Wilson also claims that Arsenal are still interested in a man they have been pursuing for some time, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Having been linked with the Montpellier defender for much of the summer, Arsenal scouts are thought to have watched him in action as recently as last weekend.
The 23-year-old captained his club to their first Ligue 1 title last season and recently earned his first cap for France having earlier been named in the preliminary squad for Euro 2012.
Although a natural center-back, Yanga-Mbiwa has also operated at right-back.