Signing a new striker remains Arsene Wenger’s firm focus heading into January’s transfer window, according to reports. Having failed to add an established forward in the summer, Arsenal have been left anxiously hoping that Olivier Giroud will remain fit to spearhead their attack. Nicklas Bendtner is currently the only other option, although both player and club have given the impression that his stay at the Emirates is a temporary marriage of convenience.
Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski will provide alternatives when they return from injury, but both players are better on the flanks than through the middle. Meanwhile, the striker that Arsenal did sign this summer, 20-year-old Yaya Sanogo, is also out injured and will need time before being thrust into the first team.
With Arsenal currently leading the Premier League, there are fears that a failure to sign an alternative to Giroud in January could scupper the Gunners’ title chances. Karim Benzema has been strongly linked, but the fact that he is now flourishing for Real Madrid makes a mid-season move unlikely.
Instead, Arsenal could be turning their attentions toward Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko. The Daily Mirror is among the publications to report that the Gunners are closely monitoring the Bosnian’s situation at the Etihad. Dzeko is thought to have been unsettled for some time at his lack of playing time with City and, after initially appearing that he would be given a more prominent role under Manuel Pellegrini, he now finds himself behind Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo in the pecking order.
Dzeko may well be interested in a move in order to remain sharp ahead of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s first ever World Cup appearance next summer. City, though, are likely to see things differently and will surely be unwilling to strengthen a rival for the Premier League title.
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Arsenal could instead pursue in-form Olympiakos front man Konstantinos Mitroglou. The 23-year-old scored three of Greece’s four goals during their two-legged World Cup playoff victory in the past week to add to his total of 17 goals in 14 appearances for his club this season. Talksport claims that Arsenal, along with Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund, are interested in signing him. As with Dzeko, though, the problem with a January deal is that Mitroglou would be cup-tied for the Champions League.
There would be no such issue with another reported target, Alexandre Pato. The Daily Express is the latest publication to comment on Arsenal’s links with the player, claiming that Wenger has been “given the go-ahead” to sign the Brazil international in January. The report suggests that Corinthians will be willing to either let the 24-year-old go for £10 million or on a loan deal.
Pato moved back to Brazil in January this year after injuries hampered the fulfilling of his potential at Milan. Despite the speculation linking him with a move back to Europe, though, Pato has done little to impress since joining Corinthians.
In other news, the Daily Mirror has reported that Arsenal could sign yet another youngster from Barcelona. The Gunners have caused Barcelona much anger in recent years by pinching the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Jon Toral and Fran Merida and now are said to be keen to do similar with 17-year-old Antonio Sanabria. The Paraguayan forward could move for as little as £400,000.