There has been increasing speculation over the weekend about Arsenal’s attempts to improve their attacking options in the January transfer window.
Newcastle striker Demba Ba is strongly linked with a move to the Emirates amid a much publicized £7 million release clause. And the Senegalese star has said that he would relish joining Arsene Wenger’s side.
"I have nothing to say about those speculations,” he said, according to the Daily Mirror. “Nothing has happened.
"The press know Arsenal need another striker and also know about my release clause, and make their own mind up about it."
"Arsenal are one of those teams who makes you dream."
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Despite there still being doubts about a knee problem that once prevented a move to Stoke, Ba has scored 11 Premier League goals this season after hitting 16 in the previous campaign.
In another Daily Mirror article, it is claimed that Ba could demand £90,000 a week in wages in any move. Given Arsenal's strict wage structure, that could potentially be a major obstacle to any deal for the 27-year-old.
Intriguingly, Wenger has spoken effusively in recent days about Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawy.
“El Shaarawy is a very mobile, very technical young player,” Wenger said, according to Metro. “His philosophy fits perfectly with mine.”
When asked whether he could make a move for the 20-year-old, Wenger refused to ruled out the possibility.
“You never know,’ he added. “I just say I love the way he plays.”
El Shaarawy has scored 14 goals in 17 Serie A appearances this season and is widely seen as one of Italy’s best young prospects. While Milan may be tempted by a big money offer, the sale of the club’s latest star would doubtless further anger supporters after the summer departures of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva.
Top of Wenger’s list of forward targets, though, remains Schalke’s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, according to the Daily Mirror. The story claims that Wenger is likely to make a bid next month, with the Netherlands international’s contract set to expire next summer.
With that in mind, it is thought that the 29-year-old could be available for a cut-price £6 million.
Huntelaar finished as the Bundesliga’s top scorer last season with 29 goals. A move in January would appear unlikely, however, with Schalke into the Champions League knockout stages and given that Huntelaar would be cup-tied for that competition if he were to switch clubs.
Another player said to be on Arsenal’s radar is Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling. The Sun claims that the Gunners are set to vie with Manchester United for the 18-year-old. Sterling has broken through to become a regular in the Liverpool first team this season and also made his England debut in last month’s friendly with Sweden. However, he has yet to sign an extension on his current contract which has just 18 months to run.
According to the Sun, Sterling could be available for £15 million, while Arsenal could also use their unsettled winger Theo Walcott as part of a part-exchange deal.