Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal are still very much looking to strengthen his squad before Friday’s transfer window deadline, although he has denied that there is a signing imminent.
Arsenal are thought to be keen to bring in a striker, while they may also be looking to secure cover for the currently injured Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky in midfield. Julian Draxler could provide a solution to both those problems, and it continues to be widely reported that Arsenal are working to get a deal done to secure the Schalke starlet this month. While issuing a pessimistic tone, Wenger also stressed that the situation could change in the hectic negotiations before the window shuts at 6 p.m. ET on Friday.
“Are we active? Yes,” he said, according to Arsenal’s official website. “Are we close to sign anybody? No.
“There's not long now that's true. First, the situation was going like always in a transfer market - week by week. In the last two weeks it goes day by day, now it goes hour by hour. In any hour anything can happen or change but at the moment, unfortunately, we are not signing anybody.”
According to The Guardian, Arsenal have their leading transfer negotiator, Dick Law, in Germany trying to agree on a deal. Yet, the two parties are thought to remain some way off. Schalke have little interest in letting the 20-year-old leave for less than his €45 million (£37m) release clause, and even that is only active in the summer. Arsenal’s valuation of the player falls some way short of that. While Wenger finally splashed out to land Mesut Ozil last summer, he is famously cautious when it comes to paying what he considers over the odds for a player. Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt is confident that Draxler will be staying put for the time being.
“I am very sure that Julian will play in the second half for us - and probably beyond," he said, according to Sky Sports. “We are not interested in letting Julian go and he has also not come to us with the wish to leave the club.
"Of course, there is always interest in him and if someone was to come and make a serious offer for him, then we would have to deal with that professionally. That applies not only for Julian, but for any other player."
Should Arsenal fail to land Draxler, they may have one less alternative to move for, with Juventus forward Mirko Vucinic ruling out a move to the Emirates. The Montenegrin was certainly available this month and was previously close to joining Internazionale in a swap deal with Fredy Gurain. Arsenal had also been linked with a loan move until the end of the season to provide cover for Olivier Giroud. However, Vucinic’s agent has now revealed that the 30-year-old will be remaining in Turin.
“There is no chance that Vucinic will join Arsenal,” Alessandro Lucci told Talksport. “He has decided to remain with Juventus."
Having already shown interest in Cristian Tello, Talksport has reported that Arsenal are also keen on fellow young Barcelona wide man Isaac Cuenca. He would represent a surprise signing, however, having been hampered by knee injuries for more than 18 months and having only just returned to training after his latest setback.