Arsenal are set to make one final last-gasp attempt to try and pries David Villa away from Barcelona before the transfer window slams shut on Thursday evening, according to the Daily Mail.
Villa has emerged as Arsenal’s leading target heading into the final stages of the January window. A move still appears highly unlikely, with Wenger confirming only on Tuesday that Barcelona are not prepared to sell the forward in midseason.
A massive offer could potentially change Barcelona’s mind, but Arsenal are not exactly in the habit of paying more than they think a player is worth. Villa’s age, 31, also counts against Arsenal splashing out on Spain’s record goal-scorer this month.
According to the Mail, though, Arsenal will return with a final offer for a player who they report is eager to move to the Emirates.
Wenger has said that up front is the area of his squad where he needs to add quality, although he has said that finding the right player is a difficult task.
“As numbers we have enough,” he said, according to the Daily Mirror. “We have plenty of quality strikers. We could do with top quality, one more, but you have to find him.
“No [I don’t see it as a problem]. When you speak about ‘anyone’ coming in, I could just go out and buy anyone just to give people hope.
“What is important is that you bring in players who can strengthen your team, or you do nothing and are strong enough to do nothing.
“That is what is important for us, to bring in a player who can strengthen the squad. ‘Anyone’ to me means exactly what today the modern game has become.
The Daily Mail has also claimed that Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko is a target to boost Arsenal’s striking ranks. Yet any chance they would have had of luring the Bosnian away from the Premier League champions has surely ended with City selling another of their strikers, Mario Balotelli.
The other name on Wenger’s wish list, according to the Mail, is Atletico Madrid’s Adrian Lopez. The Spain international was thought to have been a target last summer and it is perhaps surprising that there has not been any developments, if indeed Arsenal remain interested.
Adrian, 25, has featured only sparingly for Atletico this season after a fine last campaign and would potentially be available for the right price. Adrian has also reportedly got a £15 million release clause in his contract.
Another player with a much-publicized release clause, who Arsenal are believed to be chasing, is West Ham’s Mohamed Diame.
Wenger has spoken in glowing terms about the Senegal international and he would appear to fit the mold of the dynamic midfielder who could act an alternative to the injury-prone Abou Diaby.
BBC Sport’s Ben Smith reports, however, that Diame’s release clause is closer to £7 million than the bargain £3.5 million that has been widely reported.
Smith claims that West Ham are increasingly confident of hanging onto the 25-year-old, although the player is said to change his mind on his future on an almost constant basis, according to Hammers boss Sam Allardyce.