Arsenal Transfer News: Taarabt, Zaha, Gourcuff and Bender Involved in Recent Speculation

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Adel Taarabt
Adel Taarabt is a surprise name linked with a move to Arsenal.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is reportedly still keen to add attacking talent to his squad in the January transfer window and is exploring a number of options.

The name of Wilfried Zaha has long been linked to the Gunners and he would appear to be high on Wenger’s list of targets. The young Crystal Palace winger has garnered plenty of attention for his performances in the Championship this season and a January move looks to be on the cards, with a host of Premier League clubs said to be interested.

The main stumbling block to any transfer could be Palace’s asking price, which, according to their co-chairman Steve Parish, is a lofty £20 million. The Daily Mail reports that Arsenal are ready to offer just £9 million for the soon-to-be 20-year-old.

Zaha is viewed by many as a potential replacement for the unsettled Theo Walcott. The England international has been firmly out of favor with Wenger since turning down Arsenal’s offer of a new contract back in August.

According to the Sunday Times, that treatment could see the 23-year-old depart the club. Walcott could either leave on a likely cut-price fee in January or on a free transfer next summer.

Against Schalke on Tuesday, Walcott started his first game in either the Champions League or Premier League since August and put in an impressive appearance as well as getting his name on the score sheet. With Wenger praising Walcott afterward, there could yet be a future for the former Southampton man at the Gunners.

If Arsenal fail in their attempts to sign Zaha, then it is being claimed by the Daily Mirror that they could make a surprise move for Queens Park Rangers attacking midfielder Adel Taarabt. The Moroccan has been a regular in a struggling QPR side of late but has endured a tumultuous career.

A former Tottenham player, Taarabt’s technical ability to flourish at the highest level has rarely been questioned but his temperament has often left managers frustrated. Whether Wenger would want to take on the challenge of attempting to get the best out of the 23-year-old is somewhat doubtful.

Arsenal have also again been linked with a player of similar abilities to Taarabt in Yoann Gourcuff. Metro claims that Wenger could turn his long-standing interest in the Lyon attacking midfielder into a concrete move in January.

The France international could well be sold by Lyon due to their financial problems.

“We’re planning to sell two or three players for a total of €30million (£24m),” president Jean-Michel Aulas said.

“If he [Gourcuff] returns to the highest level and he wants to go, then there could be a transfer.”

Gourcuff, 26, has recently returned from injury and put in a strong performance in a 5-2 victory over Bastia on Sunday and has since earned a recall to the France squad.

The Gunners are also linked to a more defensively minded midfielder in Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender. The Sun reports that both Arsenal and Manchester United are pursuing the versatile 23-year-old who is said to be valued at £20 million.

However, Leverkusen director Wolfgang Holzhauser has poured cold water on the speculation by stating that “We won’t sell anyone,” according to the Sun.

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