While the Gunners’ struggles in recent campaigns has for the most part centered on the defensive side, in the past few weeks Arsenal have a lacked a spark in the final third of the pitch.
One player that could help improve the side’s creativity is Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Mario Gotze. The German international has previously been linked with a move to the Emirates and is now back on Arsenal’s radar, according to the Daily Mail.
The renewed interest is believed to stem from a discovery that the 20-year-old has a £30 million release clause in his contract. The clause, which it is also said has garnered the attention of Manchester United, expires in July with a written offer required by April.
While Arsenal reportedly have money to spend following a new £150 million sponsorship deal with Emirates, it would still come as a major shock were they to smash their transfer record by spending £30 million on one player.
There had been speculation that Arsenal were looking to make a cut-price addition to their striking ranks with a move for Schalke front man Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The Netherlands international is out of contract next summer and appears unlikely to remain with the club. The Sun reports that Wenger is hopeful that a £6 million offer for the prolific 29-year-old could be enough to secure his services in January, but Schalke have hit back at these suggestions.
“There have been no offers or any sign of Klaas-Jan leaving, Schlake general manager Horst Heldt said, according to the Sun.
“If someone comes to us six months before the expiry date, and has a lot of money, we will deal with it.
“But from Arsenal circles we hear there is no money anyway.”
The Gunners have also received some less than encouraging comments about their attempts to sign Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha. Arsenal are one of a number of clubs to be linked to the highly-rated 20-year-old and earlier this week Wenger hinted that Zaha was one of the players on his list of targets.
Those words have not gone down well with forthright Palace manager Ian Holloway.
“Why is he talking about my players? It’s not the game,” Holloway said, according to the Sun.
“I will be picking the phone up to talk to him as I don’t think it is right and proper with the greatest respect. That is totally bad etiquette.”
Palace have previously indicated that it will take a bid in the region of £20 million for them to consider selling Zaha.
Another of England’s rising stars thought to be on Arsenal’s radar is Southampton left-back Luke Shaw. Only 17 years old, Shaw has already appeared five times in the Premier League this season and has been linked to many of the Premier League’s big clubs.
However, Shaw has said that he currently has no intention of pushing for a move.
“Seeing my name linked with those big clubs was crazy,” he said, according to the Daily Star. “I tried not to pay attention to it because I don’t want it to get into my head.
“When the stories came out I was happy at Southampton and I am still happy. It is great club and I want to be here.
“We give youngsters chances and other clubs don’t have what we have here at Southampton.
“I have been here since I was seven and I have loved every bit of it.
“There have been a few players to come through our academy and go on to success and that is what we aspire to be like.”