With the pressure continuing to increase on Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal boss is set to be given £40 million to spend in the January transfer window, according to the Daily Telegraph.
A goalless draw with Aston Villa on Saturday eroded much of the renewed optimism that had been created courtesy of an emphatic north London derby victory over Tottenham and subsequent qualification for the Champions League knockout stage.
The result leaves Arsenal sixth in the Premier League and looking set for a tough battle to earn an all-important place in the Champions League next season.
Arsenal fans voiced their frustrations at Villa Park at the club’s continued limited spending in the transfer market and there are sure to be renewed demands for Wenger to invest significantly when the transfer window reopens. The club recently announced a new long-term sponsorship deal with Emirates worth £150 million and the Telegraph reports that the income will lead to Wenger being given a significant transfer kitty.
The Frenchman’s number one objective has been long-reported as bringing in a striker to provide support for Olivier Giroud. According to the Telegraph and other sources, Schalke front man Klaas-Jan Huntelaar currently features high on Arsenal’s wanted list.
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The Netherlands international’s current contract expires next summer and it appears unlikely that he’ll sign a new deal. The Daily Mirror reported over the weekend that the 29-year-old, who was the top scorer in the Bundesliga last season, is keen on a £6 million move to the Emirates in January.
The story backs up its claims with a quote from former Liverpool forward Erik Meijer, who shares an agent—Arnold Oosterveer—with Huntelaar.
“According to the information I have, Huntelaar will be gone in the winter,” Meijer said. “Arsenal are the favorites.”
Another player to be strongly linked with a move to the Gunners in recent weeks is Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha. The 20-year-old has earned rave reviews for his impressive performances for the Championship club and won a first England cap earlier this month.
Speculation has suggested that a January transfer was likely, with Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham among the clubs believed to have been monitoring his progress closely.
However, according to a Palace insider, quoted in the Daily Mirror, such talk may be premature.
“It would be easy to cash in on Wilfried in January, but the feeling at the club is that it would be a false economy. It is a case of giving it our best shot to win promotion—and that means keeping Wilfried at Selhurst Park.”
A surprise alternative to Zaha has emerged, with the Daily Mail suggesting that Arsenal are weighing up a £10 million move for out-of-favor Liverpool winger Stewart Downing.
The England international arrived at Anfield in a £20 million deal in the summer of 2011, but has failed to justify that hefty fee and even found himself the subject of public criticism from new manager Brendan Rodgers this season.
According to the Mail, Wenger previously tried to sign Downing before being outbid by Liverpool.
Finally, Arsenal are one of the clubs monitoring young FC Copenhagen striker Andreas Cornelius, according to Metro. The 19-year-old, who has earned comparisons with Nicklas Bendtner, has already won two caps for Denmark. Inter Milan are also believed to be interested.