Despite Arsene Wenger contacting Barcelona’s David Villa directly to try and persuade the forward to join Arsenal in this month’s transfer window, the forward looks set to remain at the Camp Nou until the end of the season, according to reports. The Gunners are one of several Premier League clubs to be linked with the 31-year-old who has found himself out of favor since his return from a broken leg at the start of the season.
Spanish journalist for The Times and AS Guillem Balague writes that when Wenger contacted Spain’s record goal scorer three weeks ago he was told that Villa wanted to stay at Barcelona until at least the summer. While Villa is currently on the fringes of the side, Barcelona also do not want to lose the player in January and risk injuries leaving them short in attack for the remainder of the campaign.
A deal could well happen in the summer, though, with a fee of €15 million (£12.2m) likely to be sufficient, according to Balague.
Wenger is believed to be keen to bring in forward reinforcements with Marouane Chamakh having joined West Ham on loan for the rest of the season and Gervinho heading off to the African Cup of Nations.
The Arsenal boss could also be looking to strengthen his midfield options. According to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal are keen on Wigan’s James McCarthy and are set to bid £8 million for the 22-year-old.
The Republic of Ireland international has been linked with a move to a bigger club for some time on the back of consistently impressive performances for Wigan. McCarthy would appear to have the technical acumen to fit comfortably into a Wenger midfield, although Wigan are likely to fight to keep hold of him until at least the summer as they face another battle against relegation.
Arsenal also look set to have to wait until the summer if they are to secure an unlikely deal for Chelsea veteran Frank Lampard. The 34-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the season and he has been told by Chelsea that it will not be renewed, according to the Daily Mail.
Lampard has even been linked with a departure from Stamford Bridge in January, but the Mail claims that Chelsea will not allow him to leave until the end of his deal.
Both Arsenal and Manchester United are said to be interested in the England international. The Mail, though, suggests that Lampard would not want to play for another London club. Major League Soccer side the Los Angeles Galaxay are also widely believed to hold a strong interest.
With Joahn Djourou having joined Hannover on loan for the rest of the season and Sebastiaen Squillaci also expected to head through the exit door in the near future, Arsenal may also be eyeing up a central defender in the transfer window.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is a name that has repeatedly been linked with a move to Arsenal and the Sunday People reports that their interest is set to be reignited. The Montpellier captain only recently extended his contract beyond the end of the season making the People’s claim that the France international could be allowed to leave for £3.5 million seem unlikely.
Counting against a January move is the fact that Yanga-Mbiwa, 23, would be cup-tied for the Champions League. Yanga-Mibwa has previously commented that he dreams of playing for Manchester United.