Arsenal have had an €8 million (£6.6m) rejected for Alexandre Pato by Corinthians, according to reports in Brazil. The striker has been regularly linked to the Gunners in recent weeks and recently revealed that he rejected an approach from Tottenham in the summer. Now, Lancenet reports that Corinthians have turned down an initial approach from the Gunners and are instead seeking at least €12 million (£9.9m).
Signing a striker is widely expected to be Arsene Wenger’s priority heading into the January transfer window. Having failed to recruit one in the summer, there has been a heavy reliance on Olivier Giroud, with Nicklas Bendtner currently the only established alternative. Of the other options, summer signing Yaya Sanogo is just 20 years old and remains on the sidelines through injury, while neither Lukas Podolski nor Theo Walcott are at the best through the middle.
Yet, there is some surprise in the choice of Pato as the man to fill the void. When he was signed by Milan as a 17-year-old, Pato was rated as one of the world’s best young talents, but in six years with the Italian giants he failed to fulfill that potential, in large part through recurring injuries.
Those problems have largely been eradicated since he returned to Brazil in January, but his form has been mixed. He has shown enough to get back into the international picture but his inconsistency has led to him being booed by his own fans.
Another striker linked to Arsenal of late has been on-form Olympiakos man Konstantinos Mitroglou. The 25-year-old has had an outstanding start to the season, hitting 16 goals in 15 appearances for his club and scoring three of Greece’s four goals in their two-legged World Cup playoff against Romania. His club have now admitted that it will be difficult to hold onto the player, although they haven’t yet received any offers.
“We've known for some time that there has been interest from many clubs," Olympiakos coach Jose Miguel Michel said, according to Sky Sports. "But that's only logical considering how well he has been doing lately.
"There have been no concrete proposals so far, but if he keeps on doing well, it's going to be hard to keep him."
Meanwhile, there has been further speculation about the future of Julian Draxler. The Daily Express has reported comments by former Norway striker and now German TV pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft claiming that Arsenal are big favorites to sign the highly rated attacking midfielder. Fjortoft is also said to be one of the first to have reported on Mesut Ozil’s transfer to Arsenal. The 20-year-old Germany international has a release clause of €45 million (£37.2m) and recently revealed his respect for Arsenal.
“I've said every summer I have to look what is the best for me and I will do in the summer again and we will see what happens,” Draxler said, according to The Telegraph.
“I have always said English teams are very big clubs and Arsenal is of course one of them. Of course I sometimes speak to Mesut or Per about the team, about the club, and they always have good words and they tell me nice things.
"You never know what happens in the summer but Arsenal is a very, very nice team. They always have very young players, they play attractive football and that's what I like.”
In the more immediate future, Arsenal could be set to sign Youssouf Mulumbu, according to comments from the West Brom midfielder. Mathieu Flamini has made a major impact since returning to the club in the summer and Wenger may well be seeking another tenacious presence in midfield. The 26-year-old claims that Arsenal have registered their interest and he is eager to make the move.
“I've had approaches from Arsenal,” Mulumbu said, according to The Sun. “I could leave this winter. This is the right time for me to set my sights higher. I'm ready to join a top-four club.”