Arsène Wenger has insisted that he will add to Arsenal’s squad in the January transfer window, but only if he finds the right player. Wenger has repeatedly drawn criticism in recent years for his perceived frugality in the transfer market. Even after breaking with his pattern of modest spending to land Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez in the past 16 months, his failure to further bolster his defensive options in the summer has frustrated many. But Wenger is adamant that he is always prepared to utilize the club’s checkbook, providing it makes sense from a financial and playing perspective.
“I've said that many times, without any doubt: If we find the right player, we will do [a deal],” he said. “There's a huge difference between the perception that people have of me: I'm not scared to spend money.
“It was periods where we didn’t have the money. What I don't like is to spend the money I don’t have. What I fought against is to spend money that would put the future of the club in danger. Now I have money. No problem at all.'”
There is little doubt that a defender features at the top of Wenger’s wanted list. Continued injury problems for center-back Laurent Koscileny have left Arsenal short of options and having to play full-backs Calum Chambers, Nacho Monreal and, most recently, Mathieu Debuchy alongside Per Mertesacker.
Wenger has admitted to an interest in Ipswich Town’s highly rated 21-year-old Tyrone Mings and is rumored to have had him watched on a number of occasions in the Championship this season. An £8 million bid could be forthcoming in next month’s transfer window, according to The Telegraph. Yet, given that Mings is untested at the top level and that he has made his name at left-back, it may be that Wenger is looking for a more experienced option to fill a position in the center of his back four. However, The Telegraph reports that West Ham’s Winston Reid, who has been the subject of strong rumors linking him with the Gunners and has just six months remaining on his contract, is not on Wenger’s radar
With Mikel Arteta continuing to be beset by muscle injuries and Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey currently unavailable, a new midfielder may, though, be in his thoughts. The Daily Mail has reported that top of Wenger’s wanted list is Germany international Christoph Kramer. The 23-year-old is spending his second season on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach from Bayer Leverkusen, which have insisted that he will be returning to them in the summer. Although the Mail suggests Arsenal will make a £20 million bid next month, it is not clear whether it would even be possible to cut short his loan arrangement. Adding further complications to a possible deal is that recent reports from Spain have written of strong interest from Real Madrid in a transfer next summer.
Meanwhile, the Daily Star is among the publications reporting that Arsenal will go head-to-head with Tottenham to try and sign Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin. After a fine season that saw him get into France’s squad for the 2014 World Cup, Schneiderlin was linked with both north London rivals in the summer, but Southampton insisted that he wouldn’t become the latest key player to depart. With Southampton having made a fine start to this campaign, that stance appears unlikely to change in January, barring a hefty offer.
Seemingly even more far-fetched is a report in the Daily Express that Arsenal are one of three Premier League clubs eyeing a transfer for Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets next summer. It is suggested that the Spain international is interested in a change of scenery and a move to England, with Chelsea and Manchester United also said to be interested. That would be a surprise, though, for a player who has come up through the ranks at Barcelona’s famed academy.