Arsenal transfer round-up January 2: Wenger monitors Daniele Rugani, Riyad Mahrez and Malcom
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With the January transfer window upon us, ‘silly season’ is sure to bring up some interesting rumours – but who is Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger reportedly looking to bring in?
The transfer window has just opened – here’s our round up of the latest transfer rumours.
Any player nicknamed ‘Little Neymar’ has surely got to be worth a look, right? Ajax winger David Neres is enjoying a stellar campaign for the Dutch giants having scored nine goals and assisted a further 12 in 22 appearances this season.
The Daily Mail reports that Arsenal are just one of the Brazilians many suitors, with a price of 25m EUR being quoted for the 20-year-old.
Another youngster reportedly being chased by the Gunners is a bit closer to home. Aston Villa starlet Keinan Davis has been watched by both Arsenal and Manchester United scouts on a number of occasions this season. The 19-year-old has scored twice in 20 Sky Bet Championship appearances this campaign, picking up three assists. Villa boss Steve Bruce told the Islington Gazette that Davis has “a big future” following his side’s goalless draw with Birmingham City in the second city derby back in October. Could that future be with Arsenal?
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Wenger could add some more samba style to his squad if reports from Goal.com are to be believed.
Bordeaux’s Brazilian winger Malcom has been lighting up Ligue 1 this season with seven goals and four assists in 18 French top flight games this season. Manchester United were rumoured to be looking at the 20-year-old but were put off by his £44m price tag, allowing the Gunners to steal march on their rivals. Could Arsene get one over on Jose and secure the signature of the rising star?
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One Brazilian who might come slightly cheaper is a name you may recognise. Wellington Silva failed to make a single appearance for Arsenal between 2010 and 2016 – after work permit issues and numerous loan spells – before returning to his homeland to sign for Fluminense.
He almost move to Bordeaux last summer, with the Gunners ready to trigger his £1.5m buy-back clause before making a quick profit with a £3m sale to the French club in very Wenger-esque fashion.
However, the 24-year-old failed a medical and the move collapsed. Inter Milan have been looking at the winger according to Brazilian TV station Globo, but it’s unclear whether Arsenal will exercise their buy-back option and become involved in any deal.
Its not called ‘silly season’ for nothing – conflicting reports are common place whenever a transfer window comes around.
Two involve Arsenal – Italian champions Juventus and two central defenders.
Sky Sport Italia reports the Gunners could bid £35m for Moroccan international Mehdi Benatia, with the potential of a big money offer for the 30-year-old tempting for Juve as they look to integrated young Italian defender Daniele Rugani into their starting XI.
However, Cacliomercato.com have mentioned Arsenal are also looking at Rugani for a fee of around £25m, although the Old Lady are keen to keep the 23-year-old.
And finally, one transfer saga could provide the solution to another.
With the future of Alexis Sanchez increasingly uncertain, unsettled Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez could be a possible replacement according to Algerian sports newspaper Le Buteur.
The 26-year-old has scored eight goals with the same number of assists in 24 games across all competitions as he recaptures his form of 2015-16.
He handed in a transfer request at the King Power last summer but saw a move to Italian club AS Roma scuppered by their refusal to meet Leicester’s £50m valuation. Could Wenger be about to splash the cash?