Conflicting reports surfaced on Wednesday about the future of Arsenal target Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The Schalke striker’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season and the Gunners have been repeatedly linked with a move in next month’s transfer window.
Reports in England, specifically in the Daily Mail, are claiming that Arsenal have opened talks with the Bundesliga club over a £6 million move. According to the story, Huntelaar will demand to become Arsenal’s best-paid player on wages of £100,000 a week.
The news is in contrast to a story emanating from German publication DerWesten, which claims that Huntelaar is poised to sign a new contract with Schalke. If true, Huntelaar’s decision would come as something of a surprise with the club currently enduring a dismal run of form that led to the dismissal of coach Huub Stevens earlier this week.
But with Schalke through to the knockout stages of the Champions League, the 29-year-old appears satisfied with the club’s ambitions.
DerWesten’s report also suggests that midfielder and fellow-reported Arsenal target Lewis Holtby will make a decision about his future this month. The German international's contract is also set to expire in the summer and the fact that he has an English father has seen him linked to several Premier League clubs.
It is thought that brining in a striker remains Wenger’s priority, however. As well as Huntelaar, Arsenal are also thought to have a keen interest in Atheltic Bilbao front man Fernando Llorente. The Spain international’s contract is also set to expire in the summer, but he has already confirmed that he will not be staying at the club.
With Llorente’s refusal to sign a new deal causing much consternation and the 27-year-old being largely excluded from the first team, it had been suggested that he could even leave in the January transfer window.
However, Bilbao president Josu Urrutia has dismissed that possibility.
"This player makes our team more competitive and his future will be decided by the club," Urrutia said, according to Sky Sports.
"At the moment we need to maintain the quality level within our squad, not reduce it.
"Llorente will stay with us until the end of the season."
With Abou Diaby continue to struggle with injuries, bringing in midfield reinforcements may also be on Wenger’s agenda. During the summer, the club were strongly linked to Anderlecht’s Lucas Biglia and the Belgian side has now confirmed that the 26-year-old is available at the right price. However, there could be several clubs vying for the Argentina international’s signature.
“Milan are interested in Lucas Biglia,” said Andrelecht’s director general, Herman Van Holsbeeck, according to Metro.
“We haven’t received any offers. I can’t rule out the possibility his agent is offering him to other clubs, but our position is clear.
“The player still has two-and-a-half years to run on his contract. Obviously if someone pays us enough then we could not say no but we would need €8 million net.
“That would mean, with one thing or another, a fee of about €10.25 million.
“That would obviously be the fee that would allow us to sell him immediately, we can re-evaluate in the summer, but in January he will not go for a penny less.”