Are these the 2 transfers Arsenal have ready for January?

Arsenal fans everywhere are crossing their fingers and hoping for some good business to be done by Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal scouting and transfer team when the January transfer window opens in about five weeks time. It seems that the club has money and the Frenchman has already admitted that he is looking to sign a defender at the very least.

Most fans, pundits and former players think we need more than that, however, with a tough tackling, workaholic, combative midfielder the top of most of their lists. And according to the latest transfer rumours, the Gunners may already have these two positions sorted out with the transfer of the players in a very advanced state.

The centre back, according to Metro, is going to be the Switzerland international Fabian Schar. The 22-year old is in action tonight as his current club Basel travel to Real Madrid in a good position to claim the second group spot ahead of Liverpool. But Schar has already declared his intention to move on to bigger things and the report claims that Arsenal will be the club to sign him in a £9.5 million deal.

And we could also be the club that Joao Moutinho is looking to join, as the Portuguese midfielder has put in a transfer request at his French club AS Monaco, says another Metro report. He cost them around £25 million last summer but the 28-year old is not happy that Falcao and James Rodriguez have gone and the team is struggling. I don’t think he would risk angering the fans and his club bosses unless he was confident that someone was going to try to sign him in January.

Could that somebody be Arsenal?

Arsenal to see more from Alexis Sanchez against Man City

After making his first two appearances for Arsenal last weekend in the Emirates Cup games against Benfica and Monaco, Alexis Sanchez called for a bit of patience from the Arsenal fans and suggested that he is not really fully fit yet. To be fair to him, I don’t think he had any reason to expect anything else.

The Chilean had only just arrived in London and had trained just twice with his new team mates. So for the 25-year old to say that he would need a bit more time to get to match sharpness and really show us what he is made of, just highlights the high standards that he sets for himself.

Sky Sports reported him saying, “I like this style of football. What is important now is to play and get fit. I need to get 100 per cent.

“I have to go step by step. I have only trained twice with the team. I just have to keep working hard and training.

“What is important for me is to try and play games, to score as many goals as possible and to win titles.
More games that matter.

“Of course I loved it (the reception from the Emirates crowd), I am extremely thankful to all of them.

“I am also extremely happy and I hope that I can make them very happy as well.”

Arsene Wenger was certainly not disappointed, as he pointed out that Alexis was still one of the sharpest looking players on the pitch. And the new forward still played almost all of the second game when we only expected 45 minutes from him.

So despite Sanchez’ calls for patience, I think this extra week of training will mean that Arsenal fans will see a lot more from their new star against Man City on Saturday, especially if Olivier Giroud is also sharper in the middle and the two can link up more.

I expect Sanchez to be one of the stars of the show, how about you?

Arsenal need to beat Monaco and Benfica to win Emirates Cup

The Emirates Cup seemed to be only trophy that Arsenal could win in nine years of suffering, but now we have got that monkey off our backs with our FA Cup win, we would still want to start the season with a bang.

It certainly will not be so easy to win as in some previous years, with the much improved Benfica as our opponents on the opening day, Saturday August 2nd, and the newly rich Monaco to face us on the following day.

The Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: “We’re delighted to once again be hosting the Emirates Cup in August. This will be the seventh staging of the Emirates Cup and it has proved to be an overwhelming success and a thoroughly enjoyable weekend of football.

“Not only does the tournament offer supporters the first chance to see the team play at Emirates Stadium before the start of the new season, it will of course also provide a very competitive level of preparation for all the teams ahead of the 2014/2015 season.”

This coming season is definitely one we will be looking forward to starting well, and victories in these two games would give us a nice bit of confidence when we face Manchester City in the Community Shield just one week later. Then we have the even more important Champions League Qualifiers starting ten days later.

It certainly looks like we are set for an exciting start to next season!!

Monaco encouraged by Wenger’s reluctance over new Arsenal contract

Arsene Wenger may finally call time on his 18-year reign at Arsenal. A Telegraph report says that the Monaco owner, Dmitri Rybololev, wants the Frenchman so badly that he’ll pay as much as 1 million pounds a month to get him. Wenger has refused to have his head turned by overtures from Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in recent years but Rybololev is encouraged by Wenger’s reluctance to sign a new contract at Arsenal.

Monaco’s league form has been somewhat disappointing. Although Champions League qualification has been secured, they are ten points behind PSG. The owner wants a manager of stature to challenge for the title next season while putting up a strong showing in Europe. Claudio Ranieri is expected to be dismissed before the summer to make way for Wenger’s arrival.
Were he to leave Arsenal, Wenger will be returning to a club he managed for 7 years between 1987 and 1994. Monaco, meanwhile are in a dubious position given UEFA’s financial fair play rules and the exorbitant wages they pay their players. Most notably among them are prolific striker, Radamel Falcao, Portuguese midfielder, Moutinho and the former Porto winger, James Rodriguez.

Meanwhile, the Arsenal midfielder, Abou Diaby, seemed to be back from his long injury layoff. But only for a few days. He was pictured doing some fitness work on the streets of Paris earlier in the week but he has suffered yet another injury setback. The defensive midfielder suffered a slight groin problem during Arsenal’s Under 21’s midweek match against Chelsea. ‘Diaby played one half,’ Wenger said, ‘how far away he is is difficult to say, but he had a little groin problem after the game so will not be available for Monday.’ Wenger didn’t say if Diaby will still be involved this season.

The Frenchman has not played for over a year since suffering a cruciate ligament injury against Swansea in March, 2013. Abou Diaby had been tipped for great things but a series of injuries have curtailed his progress. He is now 27 and Arsenal fans will be hoping he finally repays their patience with good performances.

Does Sagna deserve new and improved Arsenal contract

The Arsenal full-back Bacary Sagna has rubbished rumors of a summer exit and has spoken of his desire to stay in North London, according to a report from Sky Sports. The Frenchman will be entering into the final year of his contract with the Gunners and is still reported to be a subject of interest for Ligue 1 giants Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain, both clubs said to be keen on taking him back to his homeland.

Sagna created a lot of doubt over his Arsenal future by claiming very early on last season that the sight of Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy lifting the Premier League trophy made him want that too, also taking a shot at Arsenal’s transfer policy in the same interview.

But the 30-year-old seems to have had a change of heart, he said: “I enjoy playing for Arsenal. I love my team, and I always give my best. I’m still here. Many people were talking about me going back to France but I’m still here and I’m looking forward to a big season with Arsenal.”

Sagna continued: “Last season was difficult. I only had one year left and people were looking at that and maybe thinking I would leave. But I tried to stay as calm as I could. Now I will work hard in pre-season and have a good season for Arsenal.”

The Senegalese-born full-back was thought to be the only big player Arsenal might have to lose this summer but now it seems as though Sagna himself has put those rumors to rest, and thankfully so. Despite him having a rather mediocre season when compared to his usual high standards, I firmly believe that he is still one of the best full-backs in the Premier League, not to mention his versatility and work-rate. Despite him being 30, I think he still has a good couple seasons ahead of him.

What worries me however, is that he will be entering into the last year of his contract. Although he’s certainly not the type to jump at the opportunity of higher wages, a lack of agreement between him and the club over the length of a new contract or Arsenal’s transfer policy might lead to a little confusion.

Personally, I think he is definitely worth a two year deal that he seems to be after. I think his disappointing season was due to the fact that he suffered two long-term injuries in as many years. Players take a while to fully recover from those, especially players of his age group.

Anyway, I really hope Wenger ties him down to a new contract as soon as possible, with a solid pre-season, I believe Bac can be back to his best (pun intended!). I wouldn’t mind too much even if he decides to finish his career at Arsenal like Rosicky did, though that’s a bit of a long shot.

Sagna admits he could be leaving Arsenal soon!!

Bacary Sagna has been a great servant for Arsenal since he joined the club from Auxerre back in 2007. He is the only current member of the Arsenal squad, apart from the players we want to leave, who is about to enter the last year of his contract and it appears that there is a good chance he will leave the club this summer.

Although the French right back has denied any specific contact from the new French champions Paris Saint-Germain, that seems to be his most likely destination. The 30-year old has been offered a new contract by the Gunners and he claims that he might still stay, but he will weigh up his options at the end of the season.

“Of course it makes me feel proud to read PSG are interested,” revealed Sagna to Le 10 Sport. “They are a very attractive club.

“Personally I’ve not been approached by PSG. I don’t know if they have contacted my agent or if these are rumours.

“I don’t close any door. I could very well extend my contract here in London, but equally I could leave at the end of the season. I only have one year left on my contract – we will see.

“At the moment I am fully focused on Arsenal. I don’t know what will happen this summer.

“I have to see the directors again regarding an extension to my contract. Monaco would be a new challenge. I don’t close any door to PSG, Monaco or Arsenal.

“At Arsenal, in the dressing room, they tease me every day telling me I will leave to play at PSG. But it is speculation. I don’t know what is going to happen.”

It seems to me that Sagna has half made up his mind to leave. The contract offer from Arsenal is there and it is not going to change. PSG can offer him more money plus almost a guarantee of a French title winners medal next season. Monaco are also a mega rich club owned by a Russian and the tax laws, or lack of them, make it very appealing to players in the latter stages of their careers.

I am not going to hammer Sagna for this. It is his life and he may feel it is his last chance for medals or a big payday. What makes it easier is the fact that his form has not been up to it’s usual high standard this season. He was the weakest link again against Wigan on Tuesday and I don’t think he has found another Gunner with a cross all season.

Having said that, he will probably be better again next season as he has been recovering from two leg breaks in a year, which takes time. He has also put in some good performances for us this season, especially when he saved our bacon at centre back against Sunderland in February.

Wenger is obviously still hoping to keep his second longest serving first team player, or he would surely have used Carl Jenkinson more, but I think that Sunday’s game at Newcastle could be the last one for Bacary at Arsenal.