Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed that he only narrowly missed out on landing a second signing on transfer deadline day last week. The Gunners recruited left-back Nacho Monreal from Malaga, but according to Wenger the Spain international was not his only target,
"We were close to one more signature, yes," Wenger said, according to the Daily Mirror.
"It did not happen because of the desires of the clubs to sell or not to sell, it is only linked with that.
"It was not a money problem, it was more a desire from other clubs to keep their players."
The player that got away may well have been Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue. Arsenal have been linked with the France international for some time and the 24-year-old’s agent has claimed that the Gunners were one of the clubs that pursued the player in January.
"At lot of English clubs wanted to hire him, most notably Arsenal, Tottenham and Fulham,” Mino Raiola told L'Equipe.
“Paris Saint-Germain wanted him too, but that may be for the summer. We will see what happens in the future.
"I know Toulouse chairman Olivier Sadran was not keen to sell during the winter window.
"The fee demanded was a barrier on each occasion, but we held some polite talks."
Wenger had revealed that he made an approach for Barcelona forward David Villa during the transfer window, although the La Liga leaders were not willing to sell. There have now been mixed reports in about whether Arsenal’s pursuit of Villa will continue into the summer transfer window.
According to the Sun, Villa is keen to complete a £14 million move to the Emirates at the end of the season after being pursued by Arsenal throughout January. While Villa has not commanded a regular starting place for Barcelona this season, the club did not want to be left short as they chase a treble of trophies.
It is widely believed that they may change their stance in the summer, however.
The Sunday People, though, reports that Villa will now turn his attention to younger options to boost Arsenal’s front line in the summer.
One of those younger targets may be Stevan Jovetic. The Daily Mirror reports that Wenger remains keen on the Fiorentina forward. Jovetic, who can play as both a main or support striker, has scored nine goals in 18 Serie A appearances this season.
He is likely to be a difficult signing for Arsenal to pull off. Fiorentina have consistently stated that they have no intention of selling the 23-year-old, despite their recent signing of Giuseppe Rossi. If the Montenegrin was to be made available, Arsenal would doubtless face serious competition for his signature.
Arsenal may also be interested in Lorient front man Alain Traore. Metro reports that only an injury to the 25-year-old suffered while on African Cup of Nations duty with Burkina Faso prevented a transfer to the Gunners going through in January.
The story claims that Wenger will return for Traore in the summer, although he could face competition from Manchester United. Lorient are said to value the former Auxerre man at £5 million.