20 Dec 2015 19:21:23
Eds, how many players do you expect will sign for Arsenal in January?

{Ed002's Note - It is difficult to answer anything and pin it on January as clubs are not keen to sell – but I have tried to give a hint. Lots of players are looked at over the course of a season and I will try and catpture as many of the ones where there has been more than a glance or two

Centre Back:

Very unlikely: Torino's centre back Kamil Glik has been watched by a number of clubs including Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund , Roma, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Benfica and West Ham United. The interest of Roma, Arsenal and Dortmund is serious but the player is keen to stay in Turin for the time being.

Possible: Rugani is wanted by Genoa and Napoli but his agent wants a move to England due to the attraction of the money. Juventus may let him move on as they try to raise funds but would much prefer to loan him out and keep him on the books. Arsenal sent a certain Frenchman to take a look at Rugani. He has been recommended to both Manchester United and Chelsea.

Very unlikely: Roma lost the battle to get Alessio Romagnoli to sign a new contract with Milan buying him in the sumer of 2015 - with Sampdoria and Arsenal very keen on the player. Roma had offered him to Chelsea as part of a deal for Salah. He won't be moving again anytime soon.

Unlikely: Barcelona, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea all took a look at Stones in the summer of 2014 but none made an offer. Chelsea made an attempt to sign him in the summer of 2015 but then moved on to another target. I very much suspect Manchester United who showed interest some time back will look again to Stones, but right now I think they are looking elsewhere as well. Arsenal and Barcelona will be interested if he becomes available.

Who knows: Hoffenheim's Niklas Sule has attracted interest from Arsenal for 18 months but they have failed to put an offer on the table

Very unlikely: Dortmund will be willing to let Neven Subotic, who has been of interest to Spartak Moscow and Arsenal, leave in January. I suspect the interest of Arsenal has moved on but I would not rule out an offer being made by either Hannover or Liverpool.

Won’t happen: River Plate's Balanta is of serious interest to Udinese, Roma, Valencia, Juventus, Olympiacos, Real Madrid, Galatrasaray and AC Milan. Manchester United, Napoli and Caniggia for Liverpool had shown interest when he was younger but that interest has gone. Valencia agreed a move last summer but it fell through. Arsenal and Chelsea have watched the player on a number of occasions as well. Guardiola was a fan when at Barcelona. His agent says he has been approached by Aston Villa and Leicester City about the availability of the player. He would need a lot of work before being ready to play at the highest level in Europe, although Udinese, Olympiacos, Roma and Valencia were actively seeking an agreement for this summer, but nothing came of it.

Left Back:

Unlikely: Leceister's Ben Chilwell has been attracting the attention of a number of sides with Arsenal, Brighton & Hove Albion, Liverpool and Norwich all attending a Huddersfield Town game to watch the loanee after he impressed in the academy next season. Arsenal, Spurs and Newcastle have also been keeping a watchful eye. As far as I know, nobody has any declared interest in him at this time.

Unlikely but possible: Lorient left-back Raphael Guerreiro has been of previous interest to Newcastle, Arsenal, PSG and Sampdoria. Sunderland have watched the player this season whilst Arsenal may look again.

Unlikely: Everton, Southampton, Sunderland and West Ham have all maintained an interest in Leeds' Sam Byram. Liverpool, Newcastle and Arsenal have had him watched but it is Swansea who are making an active effort to bring Byram to the Premier League.

Defensive Midfield:

Possible: There is sustained interest in Carvalho from Arsenal with some residual interest from Manchester United. Monaco, Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Chelsea passed on previous interest because of the cost. Sporting would ideally like to keep him a year or two more but know that is now unlikely. Everyone knows the price and it is significant and there seems little room for negotiation although he is not looking to sign a new deal and that may give some leverage. Liverpool looked at the player at the start of last year but I am not aware of any interest right now.

Unlikely: Arsenal has sustained interest in Sevilla's Krychowiak - but he is not the first choice and they will only return to him if they cannot get the player they are looking at. An enquiry from Southampton was rebuffed although the amount of money theu suggested was well below the asking price in any case. Right now no one has made an offer for him according to Sevilla and I suspect he will stay there after signing a new contract with an increased release clause which would reflect the minimum an English club would need to pay.

Unlikely to stupid: Bayer Leverkusen's Lars Bender has been a player watched by Arsenal and others, including Juventus and Manchester United, for some time. He recently signed a new contract - but I do think that a bid will be made by Arsenal before the summer but he is sending out the message that he has no interest in the move. Juventus have dropped any intersest they had.} Although Arsenal has been looking at Lars Bender for three years I think any move for him in January would be an enormous risk and unlikely unless fitness can be proved.


Possible: Inter's Marcelo Brozovic has been made available to raise funds with the club offering him to Spurs, Arsenal (who previously tried to sign him from Dinamo Zagreb) and Chelsea. Villarael and Barcelona have been watching him as well. Inter are looking to replace him with Grujic.

Unlikely: A couple of years ago when Jorginho was still with Verona there were many clubs looking to him as a good reasonably-priced squad player - this included Chelsea, Napoli (where he ended up), Liverpool, Fiorentina, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Manchester City and Crystal Palace. At the time there was unconfirmed interest from Arsenal with scouts taking a look at the player but the club making no approach. It seems that Arsenal has kept the player in mind, and whilst not yet approaching Napoli, the club and his agent are aware of interest. If Arsenal are to look to a January move, then they will likely need to pay over the odds for the player - something they are not normally keen on doing.

Possible, but only just: Real Madrid, Wolfsburg, PSG and Arsenal had shown an interest in Lucas Biglia over the summer when he struggled to agree a new contract with Lazio. Whilst he did eventually agree a Lazio extension, the club and his agent are keen to now sign a new contract with a significant improvement in wages. Inter made a recent enquiry and were very surprised at the asking price, which is well beyond their means. Real Madrid, through a third party, put an offer to Lazio recently - but they said it was inadequate (and that is being polite). Valencia and Atletico Madrid also remain interested.

Very unlikely: Tielemans has attracted long-term interest from Chelsea with Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, Juventus, Napoli, Barcelona and Marseille all showing an interest in the past 9 months. Plenty of other sides will have had him scouted. Chelsea have actively been speaking with his club since January 2014 but would even now need to send him on loan for, I imagine, at least a year or more. Atletico spoke with Anderlecht this summer and the player liked the idea of a move to Madrid but nothing could be resolved for a move at the time. The problem with a move to England is that he is certainly not ready to step right in to the first team at many of the more senior clubs. If he accepts that and a loan, then a move is possible. Whilst Barcelona, Arsenal and Chelsea may well all look to offers in January, a move before next summer is unlikely. I also understand that Piero Ausilio attended the Spurs vs Anderlecht game to watch two players - Tielemans being one.

Possible: Although Sofiane Boufal only moved to Lille in January 2015, a bid from Spurs is expected in 2016. PSG and Monaco have both had the playter watched regularly and PSG has spoken with Lille to see if some sort of deal may be possible. Arsenal, Manchester United and Lyon have also had the player watched this season.

Unlikely but possible: Real Madrid made Isco available summer 2014 - although priced at a level where all but a handful of teams could afford him. They also offered him to Chelsea in part exchange for a player but Chelsea were not interested. There was interest from Manchester City and Bayern Munich in the past, but right now I am not aware of any interest that remains from these clubs. Arsenal made an enquiry regarding Isco's availability in the summer but their first choice was someone else and then no longer a priority. In addition to Chelsea he has also been offered to PSG and Juventus - and Juventus has put a significant offer on the table but it was not accepted. Not out of the question that Arsenal could look again. Right now there is no interest from Chelsea.

No chance: Brussels based "intermediary" Klay Ekeocha has been very keen to say that he is in discussions with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Benfica, Porto and West Ham about teenager midfield player Kelechi Nwakali, whose brother is on the books of Manchester City. He will also regale whoever will listen with colourful stories about vast sums of money being offered to him by agents wishing to represent his "client", who, incidently, has been of enquiries from Olympiakos and Udinese. Ekeocha claims to be an agent but is actually from the less-well regulated end of the game - an "intermediary". He is no more than a man who will make repeated phone calls and try and talk to clubs about players who he has no legally-binding contract with.

Unlikely: Juventus, Arsenal and Chelsea enquired about Rabiot in 2013 and PSG were not keen to sell. Chelsea, Roma and Arsenal enquired in the summer of 2014 but all would see him as one for the future - and neither would commit to the guarantee of first team football that was being requested by the player. Roma tried for a deal in January 2015 but to no avail. For more than a year Rabiot has been bleating about not being in the first team at PSG and a move to any of the interested sides would not have resolve that in the short term. However, Arsenal, Spurs, Newcastle and Manchester City had him watched over during last season on a regular basis, and Spurs were keen on taking him on a loan to buy deal. Although previously backing away due to the request for a guarantee of playing time, talks did again happen with Juventus in July 2015. Roma, Spurs and Arsenal may rekindle their interest if PSG were to look to let him go in January. I am pretty sure if that is the case then Wenger will want to talk to the player (and his mother) to ensure that his head is in the right place. Chelsea simply saw him as too much grief in the end.

Attacking Midfield/Winger:

Certainly possible: Genoa's Diego Perotti will be available in the summer and may just be available in January at the right price. Everton, Belgrano, Arsenal, Vélez Sarsfield and Milan have looked at him recently with both Arsenal and Milan open to making a January deal.

Unlikely but perhaps possible: PSG may well be willing to let Moura move on as he has not settled that well in France - but whether they would be willing to do so in January is not clear. An attempt was made to strike a deal for Lucas Moura to make a return to Sao Paulo on loan in January 2015, but PSG pulled the plug as discussions dragged on. Juventus had declared interest if he becomes available but baulked at the €40M asking price they were given. Spurs and Liverpool did manage to scout him recently, although he has been starting from the bench a lot this season. His agent has spoken to Arsenal about him but I don't know if they would be interested.

Very unlikely in January: Nice's Vincent Koziellohas attracted scouts from Arsenal, Aston Villa and Rennes to watch him this season. Rennes were told that he is not keen on moving from the South of France and that Nice would be open to offers but they would need to be good. The Arsenal scout has said that although he shows promise he is not taking goal scoring opportunities in the way he did when first watched as a youth at Cannes - and feels the EPL is a step to far at this time.

Unlikely: Schalke rejected bids from Spurs and Stoke for Leroy Sane in the summer. A number of clubs from across Europe have had the player watched in the first and reserve sides towards the end of last season and at the start of this - including Manchester United, Sunderland, Arsenal, Liverpool, Bayer Leverkusen, West Ham and RBL.

I have a sneaking feeling that the summer may see him looked at with more interest: Mainz will have no interest in selling Yunus Malli in January but are aware that Bayern Munich, Spurs, Borussia Dortmund and Galatasaray have all looked at the player. For the summer, Malli is the sort of player who Klopp may have Liverpool scouts look at, particularly given that he knows the player well. An ex-German international tells me he is getting better and better and would suit the English game. He is also the sort of player that a club like Arsenal may look to if they are planning Central or Attacking Midfield changes in the summer.

Unlikely: Bournemouth have been trying to buy Birmingham's Demarai Gray since January 2015 and have several bids rejected. They will return before January to try again. Leicester, Arsenal and Liverpool have also enquired after the player.

Very unlikely: Winger Julian Brandt turned down a contract extension from Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen, Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund all showed interest with Chelsea offering a player in part exchange in the summer of 2013. Liverpool certainly took a look at that time as well - but that was the previous regime. He moved to Bayer Leverkusen in January 2014 and continued to attract attention from Arsenal who made an approach in the summer of 2014. This past summer he was not for sale. He is still young and no doubt next summer will see further interest.

Very unlikely: Dynamo Kyiv managed to persuade Yarmolenko not to move this past summer and managed to get him to sign a new contract. There has been interest over the past year from Roma, Spurs, Stoke, Fiorentina, Everton, Inter and Dortmund. Bayer Leverkusen, Valencia, Napoli and Manchester City all dropped their interest and PSG, who were considering Yarmolenko as a possible option to replace Lavezzi this past summer, seem to have done the same - at least for now but there is a reasonable chance Lavezzi could move in January. Yarmolenko has expressed a desire to move to Barcelona or Chelsea - and there has been more than one approach made directly to the Chelsea to gauge their interest. Right now it looks like Barcelona are considering their options for a January bid, but much will depend for them on an entirely separate matter. Whilst an approach was made to the agent of Yarmolenko by Arsenal in the summer, nothing could be done. He spent the summer screwing everyone around and there is still a lingering view he could do the same in January. I don't know if anything can be done or if Arsenal or Barcelona will push, but Piero Ausilio was at a recent game to look again at him - so Inter might still be in the mix.

No chance: Real Betis were aware of interest in Dani Ceballis from Juventus, Roma and, in particular, Real Madrid. Additionally Arsenal, Spurs, Swansea and Liverpool and others, have had the player watched throughout this year, but no EPL side made any approach to Real Betis about him. For now Ceballos has signed an extension, so he won't be moving.

Unlikely due to cost: Benfica's Goncalo Guedes is a player Chelsea has watched on a number of occasions this season and have declared an interest in. They will perhaps look to an offer next summer. Arsenal have had the player watched as have Bayern Munich. Regardless, the asking price is likely to be an issue for all of these clubs.

Unlikely: Ajax will look to keep Anwar El Ghazi from interested parties for perhaps one or two years. Bayern Munich, Liverpool (growing interest), Atletico and Chelsea have all declared an interest. The player has said he wants to play for Real Madrid. Chelsea were to put an offer on the table in the summer and would have been willing to leave him with Ajax for up to two years. However a third party advisor to Chelsea blocked any move at that time citing the player as still being inconsistent and wanting longer to consider whether or not Chelsea should progress a move for the player who he thinks could "disappear" very easily at a higher level, and particularly in England - this was the same person who said Depay was not ready this summer. Arsenal have now had him watched in a match against Vitesse Arnhem - whether that will manifest itself as interest or not is unclear right now.

Won’t happen: The Reus situation is that Borussia Dortmund offered a significant cash sum to the player to sign a one year extension to remove the release clause that German clubs could use to force a deal for the summer. Manchester United's previous interest has probably moved on, at least for now. Chelsea stepped back from any deal in December after several discussions resulted in a significant issue becoming clear - if that goes away then it is possible something could still be done, but I very, very much doubt it. Bayern is no longer pushing for him. Real Madrid would liked to have a deal this summer and did approach Dortmund with a tentative offer - but they need to move others on first - and that was a problem. It could be January 2016 when they make a further move for him, simply for fear that Barcelona may look to striking a deal as a replacement for Pedro - but Reus has made it clear that he feels let down by Barcelona last summer and they are known to be looking elsewhere. Arsenal will be interested if he is available but my expectation is he will probably remain at Dortmund for all of this season.

Unlikely but possible: Deportivo's Lucas Perez has been performing well this season and has been watched by Arsenal and Valencia. I would think a move in January is unlikely.

Unlikely but possible: Xhaka signed a new long-term contract but there is interest from Atletico Madrid and Inter. If he were to become available, interest from England may arise. Previous interest from Stoke and Everton is gone. Manchester City and Arsenal have also scouted the player.


Possible: Bordeaux's Wahbi Khazri has attracted the interest of several English clubs including Swansea (whose interest may have gone), Newcastle, Stoke and Everton already this season. Previous interest from Roma, Fenerbahce and Sunderland has gone. Lille and Arsenal had the player watched but have no declared interest.

Very unlikely: Barcelona has approached Celta Vigo about taking Nolito in January - but Nolito says he will not move anywhere just as cover for others and wants a commitment of game time. Both Spurs and Arsenal have had Nolito watched by scouts recently. They may be an option. A Spanish club could force move (if the player agrees) by paying a release clause that he has, but even though he has been playing well recently, Barcelona are the only club to have shown an interest at this time.

Unlikely: Arsenal have a sustained interest in Marseille's Michy Batshuayi - but Marseille may price him out of a move to London and would not want to sell without their preferred replacement in place. Both PSG and Chelsea have had the player watched this season but neither is expected to make a push in January. Interest of Porto, Milan, Monaco and Benfica has seemingly moved on for now.

Unlikely: There is seemingly no remaining interest in Aubameyang from Juventus, Real Madrid, Spurs, Roma or either of the Milanese clubs. Whilst Dortmund are happy to see the back of him, it will only be at a high price - and I think that may well block a move in January as it did in the summer. The player has made it clear that he would like to move to Italy. However, that has not deterred Barcelona, Chelsea, Arsenal and Valencia who have had him watched again this season so an offer in January is possible. However, I suspect the asking price would make a move to Valencia unlikely. I cannot imagine a move to Barcelona being viable until one of their first choice forwards moves on. Arsenal or Chelsea might be best placed if they have the stomach for the expenditure - but it would be a very major change to the Arsenal approach to buying players. Dortmund will keep him rather than let him leave cheaply. Plenty of baggage with him as well.

Unlikely: Pato has not had a good time this past couple of years and Corinthians loaned him to Sao Paulo until the end of the year - but it hasn't worked out that well. He has been in mixed form and unfit and I would think far from able to perform at the premier league level. Corinthians would be really pleased if someone were to buy him =- actually they are pretty desparate to sell and have now taken a pretty extreme measure through a third party to seek a new own. Although the Liverpool supporters are convinced he will be one of the many players joining in January, I am not aware of any deal with Liverpool for him - and I can't see where he would fit in given Benteke, Origi, Firmino and Sturridge not to mention Ings returning at the end of the season. Spurs might just look to him to solve their striker issue. The Arsenal manager has spoken with an ex-player about Pato but I think it unlikely any move to the Emirates will happen. Spurs is, according to someone very close to the situation, one of his two preferred destinations - Barcelona being the other. Clubs will have noted his wages are very high, he has some ownership issues that would need to be resolved before a return to Europe, and (importantly) he has multiple agents and representatives that would need to be paid as part of any transfer.}

Won’t happen: Palermo, Chelsea, Inter, Arsenal, Valencia, Roma and Villarreal are all known to be interested in Boca's Jonathan Calleri. Spurs have also had the player watched.

Very unlikely: Vitesse Arnheim have been trying to scare off interest from a number of English sides who have been watching young striker Thomas Buitink. Manchester City have joined Manchester United, PSV, Newcastle and Arsenal in having had the player scouted regularly this season. Chelsea, who have strong links to Vitesse, have spoken to the club about the player.

Very unlikely but someone will push: Basel's Breel Embolo remains a target of Borussia Moenchengladbach, Spurs, Red Bull Leipzig and West Ham with Basel aware of interest from all of these clubs. Everton, Arsenal and Leicester have also had the player watched.

Unlikely but possible: Napoli are again looking for a deal - Arsenal may be an option for Jese Rodriguez.

Possible but they will keep an eye open: Mainz, PSV, Hannover, Bruge and Rapid Wien had shown interest in Konate over the summer with most stepping back because of the asking price and Rapid Wien opting for Tomi Correa. Both Chelsea and Arsenal have been represented at games this season and may follow up on their interest but both will be aware that it would be a big step up for the player who has struggled when chances came in Russia and Italy.

So perhaps one or two in January.}

1.) 20 Dec 2015
20 Dec 2015 20:40:55
Ed, thank you for this extensive message.
You showed great character is posting this.

2.) 20 Dec 2015
20 Dec 2015 20:55:47
Blimey, that was an epic, take a well deserved break!

3.) 21 Dec 2015
21 Dec 2015 09:48:24
Great Ed002, We all really really appreciate this.

4.) 21 Dec 2015
21 Dec 2015 13:29:02
hahaha, The Messenger will never ask the Eds again :-)

5.) 22 Dec 2015
22 Dec 2015 13:25:58
Why are Dortmund keen to see the back of aubamayang?

6.) 22 Dec 2015
22 Dec 2015 21:12:10
thanks ed, that was a great read! and very appreciated! i was also wondering the same as san28 aubamayang seems to be doing great this season, is it an attitude problem or something? also do we still have interest in fekir, or has that ended? thanks.

{Ed002's Note - There is baggage with him as I said. Nothing will happen with Fekir and Arsenal in January.}