Arsenal will be signing at least one defender this summer, that much is clear. With Squillachi’s contract due to end and Johan Djourou hoping for a permanent move to Hannover where he is currently on loan, Arsenal have just three centre backs. Even if you think they are good enough, that leaves the Gunners one short in the squad, but most Gooners would agree that Arsene Wenger needs to sign a central defender who will improve the starting line up, not just be cover.
Arsenal are looking to add some attacking options in this transfer window, and the Spanish club Barcelona may be about to help by offering one of their players on loan. Unfortunately it is not the one we want, David Villa. 21-year old Isaac Cuenca plays more as a winger who cuts inside, but he has been on the sidelines for eight months.
Cuenca has been passed as fully fit by the club’s medical team, but Barcelona have many options in his position, so they are ready to let him go on loan for the rest of the season. He did play 30 games for them last season, but now has Pedro, Tello and Alexis Sanchez to get past.
Wilfried Zaha is an Arsenal fan and was soon going to be an Arsenal player if newspaper reports are true. The Crystal Palace manager, Ian Holloway, complained again this week about Arsene Wenger. Holloway is upset about what he percieves as Wenger’s attempts to destabilise the young winger, even though Wenger has done nothing but answer a question posed by a journalist.
Palace have issued denials that Zaha will leave, but they have sounded increasingly desperate, suggesting that they knew they were going to lose the England international. Now it seems that Alex Ferguson has stuck his oar in and will offer Palace the opportunity to keep Zaha for the season if they agree to sell him to United.
Champions’ League Group Stage Draw by AH
The Champions League Group Stage draw is tonight and Arsenal will be in Pot One.
There are many different clubs we could draw, some easy and some difficult from across Europe. Arsenal will draw with one club from each other pot, but we cannot draw another British club.
Although most Gooners would want the easiest possible draw, it’s good as long as the other clubs we draw are not far away from England because a trip to Russia, Denmark or Turkey will not be the best for us.
Here are the Pots which each club will be put into;
Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger, while still looking for solutions in the Gunners midfield, has identified thr 26-year-old Valencia winger Pablo Hernandez as a possible arrival in January. Also used as an attacking midfielder, the Spaniard is not really what you’d call a striker, but more of a playmaker like former colleagues David Silva or Juan Mata.
The Gunners still have big problems in the midfield area with Wilshere out for the year and Abou Diaby still to play in his first game since May. Benayoun didn’t prove to be quite the midfielder Arsene Wenger hoped for, and Ramsey is in a complete lack of form since the start of the season, so the Frenchman is looking for possible January targets.
The prolific young Frenchman Kevin Gameiro was one of the favourites to replace Nicklas Bendtner this summer, but it seems that he not too keen on a move to the Premier League.
Valencia were thought to be the main rivals, amongst others, for his signature, and it looks like the Lorient hitman has decided he would prefer a move to Spain than England.
Gameiro said: “I see where my future is and it will be decided in one or two weeks. I have my preference, but we shall see.
“I love Spain and want to go to a team where I will play all year, not to be alternated. It is me who must make the correct choice – no-one else.”
It seems that the Arsenal striker Carlos Vela has won his argument with Arsene Wenger over the destination for his six-month loan. The Gunners boss wanted Vela to join another club in the Premiership so he easily monitor his development like he did with Jack Wilshere at Bolton last season, and it was expected that the Reebok would be Wengers preferred choice again this time around.
Wenger said today that he is still hoping that Vela will stay in England. He said: “There’s nothing done at the moment, no,” he told Arsenal.com. “But that could be sorted out Wednesday or Thursday.”
The Arsenal and Mexico striker Carlos Vela is reported to be looking at other clubs in a desperate attempt to gain some first team football, which is sadly lacking at the Emirates for the ever-promising-but-not-delivering youngster.
His brother revealed last week that Vela was keen to make a move, possibly as early as January, as he has finally realised that Wenger doesn’t think he will make the grade with Arsenal.
The arrival of Marouane Chamakh in the summer to compete with Nicklas Bendtner and Robin Van Persie was the final nail in the coffin, but the good news for Vela is that there are some top Spanish teams willing to give him a chance in La Liga.
Today two extremely talented players have issued come-and-get-me pleas to Arsene Wenger, and both of them would improve the Arsenal squad no end.
The first one is the Argentinian ex-Barcelona midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme, who has recently been strongly linked with a move to West Ham. His agent, Barry McIntosh, said that his client was very keen on moving to London, and the Emirates was his preferred destination if Arsenal made an offer.
“There are at least five English clubs in the equation,” he said. “But for a foreign player of Riquelme’s magnitude the lure of London is always going to be a deciding factor.
There is lots of Arsenal transfer news in the papers today, and first off is the report in the News of The World that says that Cesc Fabregas has spoken again to Arsene Wenger, and told him that he has made his mind up to leave no matter what, thereby forcing the French coach to negotiate with Barcelona.
Barcelona have countered with the news that they only have £30m left in the kitty, while Wenger is going to push for twice that amount. I expect the final figure will be somewhere in the middle.