Arsenal are weighing up a move for Celtic’s powerful midfielder Victor Wanyama before the close of the January transfer window, according to the Independent. The report comes amid an admission from Arsene Wenger that he is short in the holding midfield role with Mikel Arteta currently out with an injury and Abou Diaby still getting back to fitness after yet another absence.
"We have [an issue there], I agree, and it is a position where we are short," Wenger said, according to ESPN. "Anyway, we are short when Arteta is not there because he is a player with a lot of experience. He gives us stability and you could see that in the last two games. It is a position where we are a bit vulnerable at the moment.”
Wanyama, 21, has been linked with both Arsenal and Manchester United for some time. His stock has risen even higher in this his second season in Scotland following some impressive performances in the Champions League, including Celtic’s victory over Barcelona.
As well as Wanyama’s valuation, likely in excess of £10 million, also counting against a move this month is that the Kenyan would be cup-tied for the Champions League.
Yet the Independent reports that Arsenal have made Wanyama aware of their interest.
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A deal that may appeal more to Wenger is for West Ham’s Mohamed Diame. The midfielder is also reported to be under consideration after it came to light that the 25-year-old has a release clause of just £3.5 million. According to the Independent, Diame would welcome a switch to Arsenal.
Asked about the Senegal international, Wenger suggested that he was a fan.
“He has a great presence in the games, I have seen him have a big impact," Wenger said, according to Sky Sports.
Arsenal are also said to be interested in an unlikely swoop for another midfielder in Luka Modric. The Croatian has failed to have much of an impact at Real Madrid since his £33 million move from Tottenham in the summer.
The Daily Star claims that Madrid may already be considering dispensing with the 27-year-old, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all monitoring the situation.
However, given his similarity to many of Arsenal’s current midfielders, plus what is likely to be a high asking price, it would be a major surprise were Modric to wind up at the Emirates.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s link with Barcelona’s David Villa has resurfaced in the Daily Mail. It had been reported earlier in the month that Wenger had contacted the forward about a potential move, but was rebuked both by the player and Barcelona.
Despite not being a regular since his return from a broken leg this season, Barcelona were said to be unwilling to part with him before the end of the campaign.
According to the Mail, though, Villa has now made it known to Barcelona that he wants a move and is keen on joining Arsenal. The report states that talks between the two clubs are ongoing.
If Villa were to move this month, Arsenal are sure to have to pay a premium for the 31-year-old, who would also be cup-tied for the Champions League. Such a deal still seems unlikely to transpire in the remaining days of the transfer window.