Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he is still attempting to add two players to his Arsenal squad before the end of this January’s transfer window. While the club received a boost last week with Theo Walcott signing a new contract, Wenger has been under pressure to spend as they struggle to earn a qualifying spot for the Champions League.
It has been widely reported that Arsenal have ample money to spend having recently signed a large sponsorship contract, yet with just over a week of the window remaining there have yet to be any arrivals.
“Yes [I still want two signings]. We work very hard on it,” Wenger said, according to Arsenal’s official website. “It is not the number that counts but the quality.
“I don't give you any names. I don’t come out on rumors because it would put [teams] in a bad position, the player as well.
“You have to respect the player has a contract somewhere, is playing and as long as the transfer is not done for anybody it is best not to talk about it because it doesn't work. He has to continue to play where he is.”
Many of those rumors have surrounded Atletico Madrid forward Adrian Lopez. Arsenal are thought to have pursued the Spain international in the summer, while speculation has persisted about the Gunners’ interest.
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Adrian, 25, has played down talk of him leaving the Vicente Calderon.
"I try to isolate myself from the rumors,” he said, according to Sky Sports. "We are used to them and do not take them seriously. I am very happy at Atletico."
"The good thing at the moment is that the team is doing very well. I would like to stay for a while yet."
Adrian, who has a release clause of €18 million (£15.1m), is currently in negotiations over a new deal. The versatile attacker has found himself out of the Atletico lineup for much of the season, although he has now hit two goals in his last three appearances.
There continues to be speculation that Arsenal are targeting another Spanish forward in Barcelona’s David Villa. Barcelona have stated on numerous occasions that the 31-year-old will not be allowed to leave in this transfer window, despite the fact that he has not been a regular since returning from a broken leg this season.
The Sun claims that Arsenal hope to change the Catalans’ mind before the close of the window with an offer of £10 million. But with the La Liga leaders not wanting to be caught short in attack in the remainder of the campaign it is likely to take a bid far in excess of £10 million to tempt Barcelona into doing business this month.
Another target for the Gunners would appear to be West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame. Wenger recently spoke highly of the dynamic Senegal international. A release clause in his contract of just £3.5 million is likely to make the 25-year-old an attractive signing.
According to the Daily Mail, however, Diame is ready to report West Ham to FIFA for reportedly trying to prevent him from leaving. Arsenal are already believed to have registered their interest with West Ham.
The Sun links a new name to Arsenal with the Gunners said to be interested in Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Julio Cesar. The report claims that Arsenal are losing faith with their young Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
Cesar, 33, only arrived at QPR in the summer from Internazionale. After a difficult end to his time in Italy, Cesar has started to show the qualities at QPR that once saw him regarded as one of the world’s best goalkeepers. On Tuesday, he earned a recall to the Brazil squad.
QPR have two goalkeepers on high wages, with Robert Green also on their books, although it is likely that they would wish to dispense with Green rather than the more in-form Cesar.
Manchester United are also said to be interested.