Arsenal were left frustrated by Everton at the Emirates on Sunday, but the Gunners could soon turn to one of their opponents’ top performers to bolster their squad, according to reports. Seamus Coleman was a repeated threat going forward from right back as he has increasingly become on a regular basis in an Everton shirt, and the Sunday People claims that Arsene Wenger will target the Republic of Ireland international if Bacary Sagna fails to sign a new contract.
Sagna’s deal is set to expire at the end of the season and there have yet to be any signs that he will renew. With the 30-year-old returning to form this campaign after two serious injuries, Wenger will doubtless be loathed to lose him, especially on a free transfer. But Arsenal also have a policy of not offering contracts longer than one year to players over 30.
Coleman could be a strong candidate to replace Sagna. The 25-year-old has continued to improve after settling into the role as full-back after being initially used at Everton on the wing, while retaining his attacking instincts. Coleman is valued up to £10 million, according to the People, but Everton will doubtless fight hard to keep him at the club having done similar with left-back Leighton Baines.
Elsewhere, there has been further discussion about the future of rumored Arsenal target, Ilkay Gundogan. The midfielder was exceptional in Borussia Dortmund’s run to the Champions League final last season, although he is yet to make an appearance this term due to injury.
Dortmund are understandably determined not to lose any more of their talent, having being forced to sell Mario Gotze in the summer and with Robert Lewandowski set to walk out on a free transfer at the end of this season. But, again, with Gundogan’s contract set to expire in the summer for 2015, they may have no choice.
“Only in the case of Ilkay Gundogan are we uncertain how it will turn out,” Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said, according to German publication Bild. “We would love to extend his deal.”
If he does not agree a new deal then Dortmund may be compelled to sign the Germany international in the summer, unless, like Lewandowski, they are prepared to lose him for nothing the following year.
Arsenal have also been linked to a more physical midfielder of late in West Brom’s Youssouf Mulumbu. Recent quotes attributed to the 26-year-old suggested that he wanted out of his current club and was keen on a move to the Emirates Stadium. However, the Congolese former Paris Saint-Germain man has claimed that his words have been twisted.
“I did an interview with a French journalist last week but I am not very happy about how my answers have been reported,” he said, according to the Birmingham Mail. “The general point I was trying to make in the interview is that I want to play at the highest level possible.
“I admitted there has been interest in me from other clubs during my time here but I didn’t speak about Arsenal and I also didn’t say I would be looking to move in January.”
With players returning to fitness and Nicklas Bendtner netting last week, it remains to be seen whether Wenger is intent on bolstering his striking ranks in January. A new name has been linked to Arsenal, with Standard Liege claiming that the Gunners are keen on their starlet Michy Bastshuayi. The 20-year-old has scored 12 goals in 17 league games in Belgium this season and has revealed the two clubs that he would be keen to join for the next phase of his career, which he hopes will begin next summer.
“I don't think I think will be playing in Belgium next season,” he told Het Laatste News, reports Sky Sports. “My parents, especially my dad, think I'm ready for the next step. This summer there was some interest, but I decided I didn't want to leave Standard without leaving a trace -- being champion or being top scorer.
"I've two dreams clubs in Europe -- Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund. Borussia because of their mix between quality and spirit, Arsenal because they give opportunities to young and talented players."
Standard president Roland Duchatelet also confirmed that January would come too early for the player’s departure and that his suitors stretch beyond Arsenal.
"Arsenal are not the only club interested, but Michy isn't going anywhere next month,” he said.