With money in the coffers, Arsenal could be set to make some notable reinforcements come the January transfer window. Manager Arsene Wenger confirmed last month that, following the departures of Robin van Persie and Alex Song, he had the finances to strengthen his squad and that if that wasn’t done in the summer it would happen in January. While the Gunners have started the season well, key additions in midseason could help the team truly challenge for top honors.
One name that continues to be linked with a move to the Emirates is Atheltic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente. The Spain international’s future is currently in major doubt with less than a year remaining on his contract at San Mames.
After getting a hostile treatment from fans for failing to sign a new deal, Llorente made his first appearance of the season against Espanyol on Sunday. Despite scoring, the 27-year-old said he would consider his options in January, when he would be free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with another club.
Spanish publication El Mundo Deportivo claims that Llorente received an offer from Arsenal in the summer, along with bids from Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham. According to the story, City and Chelsea are heading the race to get a deal done in the next transfer window. With Olivier Giroud still yet to find his goal-scoring feet at Arsenal, though, the Gunners will surely be tempted to try and add to their striking options with a cut-price deal for the prolific Llorente.
Arsenal have also been linked with another Spaniard in recent days with TalkSport claiming that the Gunners are maintaining an interest in Malaga’s Isco. The website reports that the attacking midfielder was monitored by both Arsenal and Manchester United this summer, while Juventus have now joined the hunt.
The Spain Under-21 international came to further prominence as he scored twice in Malaga’s opening Champions League match against Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday. Arsenal have already taken advantage of Malaga’s financial difficulties with the signing of Santi Cazorla this summer and could do the same with 20-year-old Isco. That seems an unlikely prospect, however, with the Gunners appearing to have greater needs elsewhere in their squad.
Following the departure of Song, it was thought that Wenger would enter the market to sign an orthodox defensive midfielder. That didn’t materialize, but Arsenal have again been linked with a move for Toulouse’s Etienne Capoue in recent days.
The France international was linked strongly with the Gunners in the summer and TalkSport reports that Arsenal could reignite their interest with a £12 million bid in January. Whether Wenger believes he needs a holding midfielder is open to question. Abou Diaby has returned to fitness and impressed in the opening weeks of the season, while Wenger has also spoken highly of youngsters Francis Coquelin and Emmanuel Frimpong.
The future of current Arsenal midfielder Andrey Arshavin has been discussed in the London Evening Standard. It is reported that the Russia international was told that he was surplus to requirements this summer, but that Arshavin remains happy and eager to stay at the club and in London.
However, the feeling does not seem mutual from Wenger, who has selected the 31-year-old for just one substitute appearance so far this season.