Once again, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger can expect to endure a transfer window under huge scrutiny. Arsenal secured a morale-boosting 4-1 victory over Galatasaray in Turkey on Tuesday evening to ease some of the gloom that had descended on the club once more following a chastening defeat to stoke City at the weekend. Still, few of the Arsenal fans disgruntled by the side’s poor start to the season are likely to be swayed by victory in what was essentially a dead rubber.
The loss at Stoke exposed familiar failings, most notably a glaring weakness in defense. Injuries have exacerbated a summer that ended with Arsenal having just six senior defenders in their squad. Understandably, then, there continues to be much speculation about Arsenal adding a defender in January.
West Ham’s Winston Reid has been seen by a number of outlets as a leading transfer target to strengthen a center-back core that continues to be depleted by a long-term Achilles injury to Laurent Koscielny. The New Zealand international has been an important part in West Ham’s rise to the top four in the Premier League, but will be out of contract at the end of the season. And the Daily Mirror has now reported that Reid is demanding £60,000 a week, which could price West Ham out of keeping the 26-year-old. Arsenal, and rumored fellow-suitors Liverpool, are expected to have no such problem satisfying Reid’s requests, however there could be more difficulty in persuading West Ham to cash in next month.
The Mirror writes that Wenger is eyeing Reid as an experienced option to accompany the youthful target Tyrone Mings. The Ipswich Town defender is highly rated, but aged just 21 and having made his mark at left-back this season, would doubtless need some time before coming into contention for regular first-team action. Wenger, though, did confirm last week that Mings was on his radar.
“We are not on any special case,” he said. “We are following a few young players, and he is one of the players we follow. But we are not close to signing anybody at the moment.
With Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs in the squad, it would seem that left-back is the defensive position least in need of bolstering in January. Yet, according to the Daily Mail, Monaco left-back Layvin Kurzawa has been watched by Arsenal scout, and former Gunners defender, Gilles Grimandi. Kurzawa, 22, has excelled this season and earned his first call-up for the France squad last month, appearing in the friendlies with Sweden and Albania. But, given the improved displays of Gibbs this campaign, it would be a surprise were Wenger to invest a reported £15 million on a rival for his position.
The chances appear even slimmer of Wenger agreeing to pay the mammoth transfer fee it would take to lure Edinson Cavani away from Paris Saint-Germain in January. In recent days reports have again suggested that Arsenal are keen to bring the Uruguay forward to the Premier League, with Cavani asking PSG to lower his £50 million valuation in order that he could move to the Emirates Stadium. Cavani has continued to be played out of his favored central role this season in the French capital, but it would be a major surprise were PSG prepared to sell a key asset in January and an even bigger shock were Arsenal to sign the massive check to secure his services. Responding to the speculation, Cavani suggested he was in no rush for a transfer.
“PSG is a club with a huge sporting project,” he said, according to the Daily Express. “They spent so much money to bring me from Napoli. I will give my all and do everything that is required of me.”