Backpage roundup: Wenger wants Lopez, Arteta has managerial bug, Djourou eyes loan exit, Martinez ready to help and more

Wenger Wants Adrian Lopez

Arsenal will be making a move for Atletico Madrid’s unsettled striker Adrian Lopez in the winter transfer window, according to a report published by Goal.com.

The website claims coach Arsene Wenger has found out that there is a release clause in Lopez’s contract that can be triggered by a bid of £14.6 million.

The Gunners will be without the services of in-form Gervinho in January due to the Africa Cup of Nations and with Theo Walcott’s contractual situation still far from getting settled, Goal says that recruiting a new forward is Wenger’s number one priority.

The Arsenal boss is also rumoured to be a big fan of Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente but isn’t interested in signing him due to the fact that his playing style is very similar to that of Olivier Giroud. Hence, Lopez’s skillset and his affordable price could land him at Emirates Stadium in January.

 

Arteta Interested In Football Management But Scared Of Pressure

Mikel Arteta has revealed that a career in football management could be of interest to him once his playing days are over.

While he has the managerial bug in him, the Arsenal playmaker says that there is too much pressure associated with this profession and that could prevent him from trying his luck in the field.

In an interview with Arsenal.com, Arteta said: “I have thought about it a lot and we will see what happens one day. It’s still early for that [decision]. Obviously you’re starting to get a few things from different managers and players and a key thing is they can help.”

He further added: “I don’t know [if I will be a manager], it’s a big thing nowadays because it’s really demanding. I think the job has changed a lot in the last few years – you can see the stress and the responsibility managers have. Sometimes people don’t recognise that. To manage a group of players nowadays with 10 or 15 different countries involved with different personalities is a difficult thing to do.

 

Djourou Eyes Loan Exit

After previously saying that there is no real chance of a January exit for his client, John Djourou’s agent Flavio Ferraria has admitted that the unsettled Arsenal centre-half could move to Napoli on loan.

In an interview with Radio Crc, Ferraria said: “At the moment there is no negotiation with Napoli. In football anything is possible, but there has been no contact with them for now. I agree that Djourou would be a useful addition for Napoli, but only in January when we find out whether Arsenal want to keep him or send him out on loan.

Johan is a professional and so far this season he has played just two games in the League Cup. He wants to play more. He is fit, but things can go like this sometimes. Maybe in a few weeks Djourou will be a regular for Arsenal.”

 

Martinez Ready to Step Up

Arsenal youngster Damian Martinez has said that he is ready to step up and help the team in the absence of injured goalkeepers Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski.

Earlier this week, the Gunners lost Fabianski for three months due to ruptured ankle ligaments and with Szczesny still recovering from an ankle injury of his own, there is a mini goalkeeping crisis on coach Arsene Wenger’s hand. But the 20-year-old Martinez says that there is nothing to worry about as he is fully ready to fill in for the injured duo and deputise for the current first-choice gloveman Vito Mannone.

In an interview with Goal.com, the young Argentine said: “[At Norwich City on Saturday] I think I’m going to be on the bench, but the possibility of playing from the start is always there. I’m prepared for that. I have shown that I can play at the top level even at my age. It is the manager’s decision and I have to wait for that moment to come. Despite the fact that I’ve just turned 20, I think I’m progressing well and I’m taking solid steps forward. I hope to keep playing here.”

 

Wenger Urges Milan to Keep Faith with Allegri

Arsene Wenger has urged AC Milan to keep faith with their under pressure manager Massimiliano Allegri and give him enough time to turnaround things for the club.

The Rosseneri have begun the 2012/13 season in poor form and currently find themselves in disappointing 11th place on the Serie A table. Such a start has led to some calls of sacking Allegri but Wenger says that doing such a thing wouldn’t help anything as the club is going through a rebuilding phase.

In an interview with Eurosport, the Arsenal boss said: “It is clear for all to see that things are not going well at Milan. However, it is crucial that they retain their faith in Allegri. It is only normal that he needs time to rebuild the team after the departure of players like Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The two Milan teams appear to be less strong than we’ve come to get used to in recent years, but that’s down to the economic crisis.”

 

PL Is the Best- Giroud

Olivier Giroud says that the Barclays Premier League is ‘the best league in the world’ due to its physical and intense playing style. And despite a slow start to his Arsenal career, the Frenchman says that he is happy with his decision to swap Ligue 1 for the PL.

When the London Evening Standard asked Giroud if he is enjoying life in London, he said: “Yes but I have to be prepared to battle against some very tough and physical defenders who go for it. That’s the fighting spirit you find in England. The Premier League is the best in the world and it has more intensity than the French League. You need to be ready physically and there are a lot more better players, like in La Liga.”

 

Santos on Galatasaray Wanted List

Galatasaray CEO Lutfi Aribogan has admitted that his club is interested in signing unsettled Arsenal defender Andre Santos.

The Brazilian left-back joined the Gunners from Gala’s local rivals Fenerbahce last year but has failed to establish himself as a first-choice member of Arsene Wenger’s starting line-up due to injury and off-field issues. Moreover, his rival full-back Kieran Gibbs’ impressive start to the new season mean that his chances of getting much playing time this season are not too promising.

Santos, 29, needs regular football in order to get the attention of Brazil national team coach Mano Menezes and Aribogan says they can offer that to him.

In an interview with Turkish sports newspaper Fanatik, Galatasaray supremo said: “Andre Santos is one of the names [we have] on our list.”

However, he made it clear that they haven’t held any negotiations with Arsenal yet.

We currently have no contact with his club and the player himself,” Aribogan added.