Marouane Fellaini has claimed that he turned down interest from Arsenal this summer in order to sign for Manchester United. The Belgian midfielder was linked with a move away from Everton throughout the transfer window, before eventually moving to Old Trafford on deadline day. Arsenal’s interest was much mooted, but Fellaini explained that it was the chance to work with his former Everton boss David Moyes again that swayed his decision.
"I don't want to tell you everything what happened during the transfer," he told beIN Sport. "This was done at the last minute. In a transfer window, there is always a list of players, you never know if it's true or not. But for me, I knew [Moyes] was interested in me.
"Chelsea? No comment. Arsenal? It's true, they were interested, but Manchester United convinced me to sign for them."
Arsene Wenger eventually ended up adding some combativeness to his midfield by bringing back Mathieu Flamini on a free transfer. However, the lack of another player with his qualities has been exposed with Flamini unavailable in recent matches.
In the end, of course, Arsenal spent their money with the record-signing of Mesut Ozil. Despite his arrival, there continues to be speculation that Wenger is still targeting another German attacking midfielder in Marco Reus. Since his move from Borussia Monchengladbach last summer, the 24-year-old has flourished and been linked to the likes of Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, as well as Arsenal. But Reus says that he is not interested in the speculation.
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“I live in the here and now and therefore I am delighted to be a player of Borussia Dortmund,” he told German magazine Kicker, according to Sky Sports. "I am under contract with the club until June 2017. Everything else is irrelevant, from my point of view.”
It is hard to imagine Arsenal paying a massive fee to sign another creative midfielder, given their current strength in that position. Instead, it is far more likely that Wenger’s transfer business in January will concentrate on adding to his striking options. Nicklas Bendtner remains the main alternative to Olivier Giroud and the Dane did little to inspire confidence in his ability to step into the side for any considerable length of time with his performance against Chelsea on Tuesday.
Luis Suarez was targeted feverishly by the Gunners over the summer and the Daily Star believes that they will return with another bid in January. That seems unlikely, although their claim about strong interest from Real Madrid appears to have more veracity. If Suarez is still intent on leaving Liverpool, then the club would doubtless far prefer him to leave the Premier League. Whether the suggestion of a deal involving Madrid sending Karim Benzema and £20 million to Liverpool in exchange for Suarez has any substance to it is more questionable.
A new forward target has also been put forward by the Daily Star in the shape of Brazil international Alexandre Pato. Big things were expected of the 24-year-old when he moved to Milan as a teenager, but a succession of injuries has led to him failing to yet fulfill his potential. A move back to Brazil with Corinthians in January last year has yet to so far inspire the revival that was hoped. Indeed, Pato has often found himself sitting on the substitute’s bench, with Peruvian Paolo Guerrero starting instead.
Pato recently revealed interest from Tottenham in the summer, while stories in Brazil reportedly suggest that Arsenal are also interested. It seems unlikely that a big European club will be willing to take a chance on Pato at this time, however.