Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has ruled out any “miracle” signings in this month’s transfer window and said that he is not actively pursuing Barcelona’s David Villa.
There is purported to be significant money available at Arsenal after a recent new sponsorship deal and having made a profit on their summer transfer activity. But Wenger has not yet entered the market in January, despite plenty of pressure to do so from many of the club’s supporters.
"What I worry about is getting the players who have been injured back fit, to get the players who play for this club to perform at full potential," Wenger said at his Friday press conference ahead of the FA Cup fourth-round tie with Brighton, according to the Independent.
"If we perform at full potential we cannot expect any miracle from outside, we want to make things happen inside.
"If someone else can strengthen our squad, we will do it of course, but we have the resources inside to do well.
"We have two players in every position, that should be enough, plus the young players in behind.
"But if we find the top-class players in any position, we never refuse to strengthen our squad."
One top-class player that has been heavily linked to Arsenal is Spain forward Villa. The speculation returned on Friday with the Daily Mail reporting that Arsenal are set to step up their interest after Villa again started on the bench for Barcelona’s Copa del Rey victory over Malaga on Thursday. The report ignores the fact that Villa was making his return from a hamstring injury.
It has been widely reported that Wenger approached Villa about the move but that Barcelona are not prepared to let him leave in mid-season. Wenger confirmed that there are no ongoing negotiations.
“We have been linked with David Villa, like Chelsea, but there's nothing concrete there,” he said. “We are not on the case."
Wenger was also asked about the much-sought-after Borussia Dortmund center back Mats Hummels. The Germany international, 24, is thought to have attracted the interest of many of Europe’s top clubs. On Thursday the Daily Express reported that Arsenal were attempting to beat Barcelona to the signing of Hummels. But again the Arsenal boss dismissed the possibility of a deal.
“No, I can't imagine Dortmund selling their defenders in the middle of the season anyway and we have not made any approach there,” he explained.
In other transfer news, Tottenham are considering meeting the £3.5 million release clause for West Ham midfielder and reported Arsenal target Mohamed Diame, according to the Guardian. Arsenal have been strongly linked to the Senegal international since the presence of his buyout clause emerged, although Diame has this week claimed he is happy at West Ham.
Wenger revealed that they have yet to make a concrete move for the 25-year-old.
“We cannot come out with the names we are on,” he said. “We have not approached West Ham on that."
Everton and Fulham are also believed to be interested in Diame, who joined West Ham on a free transfer form Wigan last summer.
If reports are to be believed, Arsenal could also be set to battle it out with local rivals Tottenham for the signing of Montpellier attacking midfielder Younes Belhanda. The 22-year-old was strongly linked to the Gunners last summer after his impressive performances in helping Montpellier to their first ever Ligue 1 title.
According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal have now been offered Belhanda for £10 million, while Tottenham are also interested.
Belhanda is currently at the African Cup of Nations with Morocco.