Date: 2nd January 2013 at 1:05pm
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With in form striker Theo Walcott still in talks over his new Arsenal deal, and players such as Bacary Sagna uncertain of his Emirates future, Arsenal may be looking to bolster their defensive an attacking presence in England and in Europe. While Gunners manager Arsene Wenger telling press ‘Yes, I will be busy,’ in the January transfer window.

Arsenal have a reported £35 million to spend on new talent in January, but it could undoubtedly be more if the Gunners are forced to sell Theo Walcott. Here are some of the targets Arsene Wenger may look at to bring to the Emirates.

5: David Villa

The Barcelona hit man has interested a host of European clubs including AC Milan, Liverpool and Arsenal after the Spaniard admitted he was becoming frustrated at the lack of first team opportunities he was receiving at Barcelona. Since he broke his leg and has struggled to get back into the squad with an aggravating ankle injury.

With new strikers Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski not being able to replace Robin van Persie’s goals, Wenger may look to bring the striker to the Emirates on a short term loan.

Villa has scored 40 goals since joining Barcelona 3 years ago, and has contributed to 11 goals in 96 appearances, also replicating his prolific goalscoring for his country scoring 53 goals in 85 games.
Wenger could take a gamble on the 31 year old, but Barcelona have stated that if anyone wants Villa permanently, it would cost them a hefty £16 million, which Wenger may find too pricey for a player of his age.

Likelihood: 6/10.


4: Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

23 year old Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has been at the heart of French Ligue 1 champions Montpellier for five years, helping Montpellier to win the French League title last year and automatically qualify for this seasons Champions League, despite strong opposition such as PSG, Lyon and Marseille.

The 6ft centre back has been likened to former Arsenal defender Kolo Toure and Sol Campbell and has become the rock that has so far held Montpellier together, despite the fact they have not been able to replicate last seasons glory. But has featured in all of Montpellier’s games this season, helping them from 16th place to a sturdy 11th place. In Ligue 1.

Mbiwa has been also linked with Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal and it will cost around £6 million to sell the Montepellier number 3.

Mbiwa can be deployed as a right back and this may become appealing to Arsene Wenger, over the uncertainty of Bacary Sagna’s future at Arsenal, he may be also competition for defenders Laurent Koscielny and Carl Jenkinson.

Likelihood: 6.5/10.


3: Adrian Lopez

Arsenal currently have a lack of wingers, with young talent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain being the only out and out winger Arsenal possess. Arsene Wenger may look at bringing the Athletico Madrid hit man to the Emirates.

The winger adds attacking option, Lopez scored 19 goals in all competitions for Atheltico Madrid last season. But he has not been able to reach that feat this season, notching just 3 goals in 25 appearances. There has been criticism of Lopez’s consistency in La Liga, a get away to the Premier League maybe just what he needs.
The winger has a reported £14.4 million get out clause, which means the Gunners boss will have to spend big to get him.

Likelihood: 7.5/10.


2: Fernando Llorente

Arsenal fans have been linked with the Bilbao hit man since late September, the centre forward is renowned for his goalscoring ability in the air, helping Bilbao knock out European heavyweights Manchester United in the Europa League last year. Llorente also blesses 21 caps from the Spanish national team, scoring 7 goals.

Llorente has transformed into the complete centre forward as he finished the La Liga campaign with 17 goals in 32 appearances, and 29 goals in all competitions last season, helping Athletic Bilbao to the Europa League Final, a game they eventually lost to Spanish rivals Athletico Madrid.

Llorente is available for a cut price fee since his contract runs out next summer, and interested clubs such as Juventus, Liverpool and Arsenal. But reportedly, Arsenal is his preferred destination.

Arsenal could wait until next summer to get the striker on a free transfer, but it is likely Arsenal will want to get him quickly if Theo Walcott leaves. Llorente has a buy out clause of £30 million, which expires when his Athletic Bilbao contract ends on June 30th 2013.

Likelihood: 8/10.


1: Wilfried Zaha

Dubbed as the latest England prodigy, Zaha has expressed his desire to play in the Premier League, although at the moment with Championship side Crystal Palace.

The 20 year old already has an England cap under his belt, and as well as being the best player in the Championship, according to David Wetherall, head of youth development at the Football League. Zaha has already played 119 games with Crystal Palace, scoring 15 himself, which makes him certainly ‘one for the future’.

Zaha got himself media attention when he assisted in Crystal Palace’s unlikely defeating of Manchester United last season in the League Cup, winning the free kick and dazzling Manchester United’s stars with his speed and skill with the ball.

Zaha has found himself top of Premier League clubs 2013 wish-list, expressed interest from Tottenham, Manchester United and rivals Manchester City, while Chelsea and Liverpool are interested.

Arsene Wenger would consider Zaha a long term replacement for a striker at the Emirates, and Arsenal fan Zaha fits in with Arsenal’s style of play. Crystal Palace have admitted it would be impossible for him to stay at the club, but it will cost Premier League clubs £8 million. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is set to open the bidding for Zaha at £8-9 million pounds. It is thought that Arsenal’s relationship with young English talent such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Carl Jenkinson, will persuade Zaha to come to the Emirates stadium in January.

Likelihood: 9/10.