Arsene Wenger has revealed that he wants to add a striker to his squad before the close of this month’s transfer window, but suggested that the deadline may well come and go without any new arrivals.
There has been much pressure on Wenger to spend some of the money in the club’s coffers built up from a new sponsorship deal and having made a profit on their summer activity in the transfer market. But, despite Arsenal lying four points outside of the top four, Wenger still appears to believe that his squad has enough quality -- at least up front.
“Quality-wise, no; number-wise, we could be a bit short maybe,” he said, according to ESPN. “Gervinho is not here at the moment. We have Walcott, who can play through the middle, and then of course Giroud.
“It will not be easy, though, because you do not find them in the street, the strikers that can play for us and strengthen our team. It’s difficult in January.”
“I cannot promise we will sign anybody today, tomorrow, Tuesday or on Wednesday because at the moment we are not close to anything,” Wenger added. “It is not about optimism. How realistic I am is most important.”
Metro takes the quotes to mean that Wenger will increase his efforts to bring Barcelona’s David Villa to the Emirates. Arsenal have been repeatedly linked to the Spain international during the transfer window. However, Barcelona have said that the 31-year-old will not be allowed to leave in midseason.
Villa, who has not been a regular for Barcelona this season since returning from a broken leg, started against Osasuna on Sunday and impressed in a 5-1 victory.
It looks all-but certain that Arsenal will have to wait until the summer to sign Villa, when it is also being reported that they could make a move for Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke.
The Daily Mirror reports that Arsenal, along with Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool, are all interested in the Belgium international striker. Benteke has been a rare bright spot in Villa’s season since arriving from Genk for £7.5 million in August.
But the 22-year-old will not be able to move on in January, having already played for two clubs this season—the maximum allowed under FIFA rules.
As well as a striker, Arsenal’s squad would also appear in need of a dynamic midfield presence. Alex Song was never replaced after his summer departure and Abou Diaby has again missed much of the season with injury.
West Ham’s Mohamed Diame has been praised by Wenger and the Senegal international has a release clause in his contract of just £3.5 million.
The Sunday People reports that Arsenal are finally set to meet the clause, with Diame also eager to move. The news comes despite Diame, 25, releasing a statement last week that he was happy to remain at West Ham.
There have been reports that Wenger would also like to increase his goalkeeping options, with the manager said to have doubts about current No. 1 Wojciech Szczesny.
Stoke’s Asmir Begovic is one of the name to be linked to the Gunners, however, according to the Daily Mirror, the Bosnian is keen for a summer switch to Manchester United.
The 25-year-old has also reportedly attracted interest from Liverpool and Manchester City.