Although the Gunners had been strongly linked to the highly-rated 20-year-old in the past, it had been widely reported in recent days that their interest had dwindled due to the progress in negotiations with Theo Walcott over a new contract. The determination of Manchester United to sign Zaha and their willingness to meet Palace’s demand to allow the player to remain on loan with the Championship club until the end of the season was also cited as a reason for Arsenal cooling their interest.
However, Sky Sports reports on Tuesday their understanding that Arsenal are also preparing to make an offer for the player who made his debut for England in November’s friendly with Sweden.
The Daily Mail claims, though, that Manchester Untied are still frontrunners and will make a bid of £6 million plus add-ons for Zaha. Palace have said they would seek £20 million for their prized asset, although it is believed that he could be sold for a package amounting to around £12 million.
Arsenal’s activity in this month’s transfer window is also set to include an offer for West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame, according to the Sun. Several Premier clubs, including Queens Park Rangers, have been linked to the 25-year-old due to a buyout clause in his contract believed to be just £3.5 million. Diame only arrived at West ham last summer on a free transfer from Wigan.
Diame could well provide the dynamic presence Arsenal lack in midfield since the departure of Alex Song. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had been counting on the fitness of Abou Diaby, but, although he made a surprise return at the weekend, his injury record does not inspire confidence.
The Sun reports that Arsenal plan to watch Diame in action in West Ham’s FA Cup replay with Manchester United on Wednesday when the Senegal international is expected to make his comeback from a hamstring injury.
Metro has reported on stories that Arsenal have been offered a cut-price deal for Lyon attacking midfielder Yoann Gourcuff. The 26-year-old former Milan man was likened to Zinedine Zidane in his youth, though has not quite fulfilled those lofty expectations. Still, his quality is not in question as he showed when he inspired Bordeaux to the Ligue 1 title in 2008/09.
Gourcuff has endured an injury ravaged campaign this season, making just six starts in Ligue 1. It would still be a surprise were the France international to be allowed to leave for the £3 million price quoted.
Arsenal have also been linked with a move for Milan’s versatile Dutch international Urby Emanuelson. The 26-year-old has been deployed across the midfield as well as at left-back in his career, but has started in less than half of Milan’s league games this season. Emanuelson’s agent recently revealed that the player was unhappy at his lack of first-team opportunities.
According to the Daily Star, Wenger is an admirer of the Ajax youth product.