After a sensational start to the season, Arsene Wenger could face a conundrum of whether to stick or twist in the January transfer window. The Gunners currently top the Premier League table and lie in a strong position in an extremely tough Champions League group, following one of the best performances the club has produced in recent seasons in dismantling high-flying Napoli on Tuesday. All appears to be going swimmingly.
Yet, there also remains the worrying specter of a thin squad that means a few more injuries could lead to Wenger relying on players he would rather were kept on the fringes. German 18-year-old Serge Gnabry has made a big impression in his appearances so far, but Wenger will not be keen to have count on such a young player for an extended period. Likewise Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere have had to play out of position in advanced wide midfield roles this season. Having said that, with Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski all set to return from injury, an attacking midfielder would appear to be low down the pecking order of where Arsenal need to strengthen.
Still, following the record signing of Mesut Ozil, there continues to be reports that Arsenal will look to sign another highly skilled German creator. The Daily Star believes that Arsenal, along with Manchester City, are considering making offers to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus in the January transfer window. The 24-year-old has been a major success since rejecting Bayern Munich to join Dortmund from Borussia Monchengladbach for £15 million in the summer of 2012.
The Star claims that the attacking midfielder has a release clause of close to £34 million, although Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke does not believe that Reus will have any interest in moving on.
"Marco feels very comfortable at Dortmund and we feel comfortable with him," Watzke told Sport Bild. "He has an even closer relationship with the club and the city than Mario Gotze did and I expect him to stay.
"Marco was born here, his family live here and his whole life has always been based here. He knows that BVB is the perfect place for him. I am sure of that."
According to the Daily Express, Arsenal have also shown an interest in Paris Saint-Germain’s attacking midfielder Javier Pastore. It is said that the Gunners made an inquiry for the Argentina international on transfer deadline day before landing Ozil, while Liverpool and Chelsea are also believed to be keen.
Pastore has been a disappointment since his €42 million (£37m) move from Palermo in 2011 and has completed 90 minutes just twice for the French champions this season. While he could feasibly be on the market in January, it would be a major surprise should Arsenal still be interested.
A new defender would appear to be more of a priority for Wenger, given the presence of just three established center-backs in his squad. Arsenal have been strongly linked in recent weeks with Red Bull Salzburg’s Under-21 international Martin Hinteregger. However, it now appears that Manchester United have stolen a march in the fight for his signature. Hinteregger has admitted to being flattered with links to the Premier League champions.
"There is an interest from Manchester United and some big Italian clubs," Hinteregger said, according to Sky Sports. "I am honored by it. Honestly, I did not think that it could happen so fast. My goal has always been to play with the Red Bulls, but of course such rumors are flattering.
"With my agent Frank Schreier, I need to consider if there are the conditions for a change and what prospects I would have with a move to a top team. I am not a dreamer and I know that these clubs have many interesting players who have no space to play."