Arsenal head into this weekend’s F.A Cup clash with Brighton in high spirits, having dismantled Manchester City in their own back yard in their most recent outing.
The result at the Etihad Stadium not only dispelled the myth that the Gunners are whipping boys for the Premier League’s other elite sides, but also went some way to allaying fears that the current squad aren’t equipped with the necessary talent to challenge for the Premier League title.
Despite that though the transfer rumour mill rumbles on, and today has brought forth yet more gossip suggesting that Arsene Wenger’s dealings during the January transfer window are far from down. Below we have a timely collection of the latest and greatest batches of speculation.
Arslan to Hamburg?
First and foremost Tolgay Arslan could reject a switch to the Emirates Stadium as sign for Besiktas, with the Hamburg midfielder’s representatives waiting to hear back from Wenger before finalising terms regarding his transfer to Turkey.
It had been said that the 24-year-old was seen as an ideal candidate to bolster his midfield options, but he’s seeking wages of around £40,000-a-week, and Arsenal might not be prepared to match what his other suitor’s have put on the table with their negotiations.
Di Maria failure
Then there’s Wenger’s admission that he came agonisingly close to landing Manchester United star Angel Di Maria, when the player was just 17-years-old. The Frenchman confirmed today that when Di Maria was still a rising talent he tried to land him, but was scuppered by a work permit before the 26-year-old moved to Benfica, before taking his skills to Real Madrid and then, of course, United.
It’s not all bad news though, as Arsenal have supposedly singled out Real’s Asier Illarramendi for transfer, with the Spanish midfielder deemed to be surplus to requirements at the Santiago Bernabeu.
With Carlo Ancelotti close to clinching the signing of Brazilian Lucas Silva - a man some Gunners fans may remember from transfer speculation in recent windows - it appears that Illarramendi’s days are numbered, and at Arsenal he could become a long-term replacement to Mikel Arteta