Five reasons Arsenal will want to join in the January sales
Arsene Wenger doesn’t like buying in January? Don’t believe it for a minute...
They say Arsene Wenger doesn’t buy in January. Not true. He has made a clutch of significant signings during the mid-season transfer window in the New Year sales.
Abou Diaby, Emmanuel Eboue, Emmanuel Adebayor, Theo Walcott and Andrey Arshavin all arrived in the winter and more could follow next month.
Here we take a look at five possibles...
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The Guinea-born striker – at 6ft 2ins – would be a powerful addition to the Gunners’ stuttering front line.
He has netted five times in 13 games for Portuguese minnows Academica Coimbre, and Porto are also believed to be lining up a move.
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But Arsenal have reportedly monitored him for some time, with chief scout Steve Rowley travelling to Portugal and reporting back favourably.
He certainly fits the Wenger profile: he’s young, African and, whoever gets him, will get him on the cheap – Ederzito turns 24 today, which means he can now leave on a free transfer while wages also wouldn’t be an issue.
Germany’s next big thing has lit up Borussia Dortmund, but rumours persist that the tricky attacking midfielder with bags of pace and skill will soon say Auf Wiedersehen.
Arsenal are rumoured to have bid �35m last summer for him and Manchester United are long-term admirers. Now, with the German champions out of Europe, he could be off-loaded in the new year.
Last month Gotze – capped 12 times already by his country – limped off the pitch during his side’s 2-1 Champions League defeat at the Emirates.
Afterwards Dortmund director of sport Michael Zorc snapped: “I am 99 per cent sure that Mario Gotze will play next season at Borussia Dortmund.”
Hans-Joachim Watke, Borussia’s CEO, reiterated that this week: “We want to play football, not to open as a bank. We want to make our five million fans happy, we can’t do that by selling players.”
But money talks...
The deal may have died in the summer, but Cahill is almost certain to leave Bolton in 2012, and can go on a free transfer in the summer, so Wanderers will take what they can get for him in January.
Wenger is a noted admirer of the England defender, and although he has stated he is happy with his centre-backs, the defensive injuries are piling up.
With Spurs believed to be cooling their own interest due to the imminent return of Michael Dawson from injury, the Gunners could easily sneak a cheeky bid of around �5m for a player who has greatly impressed for his country this season while his club languish at the foot of the table.
Wenger will need to move fast if he does resurrect his interest as Chelsea and Lokomotive Moscow are also in the running for the former Aston Villa man.
Germany striker Podolski, 26, has been in sensational form for his beloved Cologne with 14 goals in 15 Bundesliga games, but he has admitted that the time may be right to leave his hometown club for a second time – after a previously unsuccessful stint at Bayern Munich.
“My family and friends may live here, but if I am in top condition, then I think I could fit into any side in Europe,” said Podolski this month.
“I am not forced to stay only in Cologne,” added the striker, who was born in Poland but moved to the Cologne area when he was two years old.
That said, he has flatly refused to move to another German side again – paving the way for a transfer abroad.
He described Arsenal as a “top club” earlier this month and could come for as little as �15m with just 18 months left on his contract; a potential bargain for a Germany international with 43 goals in 95 games for his national side.
Well, why not? Andre Villas-Boas clearly doesn’t rate him and rumours persist Chelsea are prepared to take a big financial hit to offload him.
It may be a risk too far to let him go to one of your main rivals.
But with colossal wages of �150,000-a-week and no sign of getting out of his rut in front of goal, something has to give.
The Chelsea striker cost a cool �50m in the last transfer window but, ahead of their clash with Tottenham tonight, has netted just three times in 25 Premier League outings for the Blues.
One report this week said they’d take as little as �20m for him.
This may be the most unlikely of January moves involving Arsenal, but far stranger things have happened in football. And if he could find his form, he’d certainly take the pressure of Robin van Persie and bring a new attacking dimension to the Gunners.