Unsettled Dzeko a Target for Arsenal
Manchester City star Eden Dzeko has emerged as the latest high-profile striker to be linked with a January move to Arsenal FC. (The Mirror)
According to the latest round of the rumour mill, the Gunners’ preferred option remains Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, but Dzeko – who is unhappy at Etihad Stadium due to intense competition for places and lack of game time – also fits the bill.
The Gunners may have to fight off Inter Milan for the Bosnia & Herzegovina international.
Wilshere Reminds Critics of His Age
Jack Wilshere believes his instant success at Arsenal is the primary reason why he gets more criticism than others his age.
The 21-year-old Gunner, who is currently with the England squad on international duty, claims that he gets unfairly targeted by critics, whom he has reminded of his still-tender age.
In an interview with Arsenal.com, Wilshere opened up and said: “Yes, I do think (people forget my age). Not just because I’ve been around for a long time, but people hear I’ve got two kids and it’s not often you hear about a 21-year-old with two kids. I have been in the (Arsenal) first team since I was 16, so that is five years and that is quite a long time in football terms.
“I made my debut when I was 16 and the aim was to play for England and it came pretty quickly – when I was 18. Then the main thing after that was to keep my place in the Arsenal team week in, week out and I did during that season. I then had a frustrating year with injury and it is tough when you are out injured, you have got to come back. People think that when you are out injured you don’t do a lot of work, but you do, trust me.
“It is tough, but last season I got back into the team, got fit again and had 30-odd games which was nice, and this year I have stayed fit so far and that’s the aim for the rest of season. People are always going to criticise you and judge your performances all the time. They are paid to do that, so you have to concentrate on your own game. I play week in, week out against 31 and 32-year-olds, so I think you just have to take that (close scrutiny).”
Anderlecht Admit Arsenal Target Kouyate Could Leave
Arsenal FC’s hopes of signing Anderlecht centre-half Cheikhou Kouyate received a huge boost on Thursday after his club boss Herman Van Holsbeeck admitted that the player in question could be allowed to leave. (Metro)
Kouyate, a towering 6’4 defender, has been monitored by the Gunners’ scouts for several years now, and they’ve tried to sign him on two occasions in the past. They couldn’t conclude a deal then, but judging by Van Holsbeeck’s latest comments, it seems their task this time will be a lot easier than before.
“We expect to keep our star players, but Kouyate could leave,” the Anderlecht boss said. “We know there is interest in him in the Premier League. If a suitable offer arrives he can leave.”
Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City all scouted Kouyate in the past, but their interest has cooled in the past few months.
It’s believed an offer of around £6million would do the trick.
Kalou to Arsenal Rumours Emerge Again
Arsenal FC have been offered OSC Lille striker Salomon Kalou, according to reports emerging from France.
Kalou, who is famous on this side of the Channel due to his six-year-long stint with Chelsea, apparently has a £2.5million release clause in his contract with his Ligue 1 employers. Coach Arsene Wenger has been a long-term admirer of the 28-year-old Ivorian, which is why it’s only natural that he has been linked with a move to the Emirates.
He scored 16 goals for Lille last season but has been a bit slow this term, with a tally of just three in 10 games. After a year and a half in France, the player fancies a return to Blighty and wouldn’t mind joining the Gunners despite his previous affiliation with the Blues.
In 2012, when his Chelsea deal had expired, Kalou was close to signing for Arsenal, but his wage demands scuppered the deal.
Arsenal Want another French U-21 Striker
Arsenal FC are hoping to fend off competition from Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur to sign Auxerre striker Paul-Georges Ntep in the January transfer window. (The Express)
The source of the rumour is Le10Sport, according to whom, the Gunners want to take the £8.5million-rated forward to the Emirates and have already started negotiating with his Ligue 2 employers.
Ntep, 21, has been in fine form so far this season, having scored 10 goals in 15 games for club and country. However, Arsenal already have a France under-21 striker on their books in the form of Yaya Sanogo, and he has barely played any first-team football this season. Hence, recruiting another unproven prodigy doesn’t make much sense.
Vermaelen Refuses to Discuss Club Future
Thomas Vermaelen refused to talk about his club future when on international duty with the Belgium national team.
The Arsenal captain – who has long been linked with moves away from the club but recently expressed desire to stay – was quizzed about his plans for the January transfer window, to which he simply replied: “I don’t want to speak about the situation because if I do I make it worse, so I don’t want to speak. It is not about my situation it is about the team and they are doing well, it is not about me.”
Vermaelen, 28, also proved reports of his injury wrong by starting and successfully completing full 90 minutes in Belgium’s 2-0 defeat to Colombia at home on Thursday.
Ba Set to Move to Turkey
Rumoured Arsenal FC target Demba Ba wants to move to Turkey in January, claims FIFA agent Ceylan Caliskan.
Ba, 28, who was close to signing for Arsenal from Chelsea on loan last summer, is still wanted at the Emirates. West Ham United are also keen to take him back to Upton Park. However, the Blues are reluctant to offload him to a fellow Premier League club, and the player’s Muslim faith would also match that prevalent in Turkey.
The source of this report is the aforementioned Caliskan, who recently revealed: “I talk closely with Demba Ba, he wants to play for a Turkish club but I can’t comment on a transfer yet.”
Besiktas are reportedly the club most likely to get him, but Galatasaray and Fenerbahce are also keen.
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