Arsenal

Meet The €9M Man At The Center Of Arsene’s Midfield Merry-Go-Round

According to Italian website tuttermercatoweb.com, Sochaux midfielder Marvin Martin is one of a handful of players that are top of Arsene Wenger’s hit list.

Arsenal may have to wait to bring the 23-year-old to the Emirates, at least until the summer, as he has pledged he will not leave the Ligue 1 outfit mid-way through the season.

He said: “I’ve started the season with Sochaux and I’ll finish there as well. I’ve absolutely no desire to leave the side like that in the middle of the season.”

Wenger tried to sign Martin in the final few days of the last transfer window, but the French club refused to negotiate.

They offered Martin an improved deal, however he asked for a release clause be put in for the end of this season.

The exact details of this are not fully known, but it is believed that the player can activate it in the summer.

Martin had the most assists in Ligue 1 last season so if Wenger really thinks he is the answer to his midfield problems then he will have to be patient.

In the mean time there are reports that Arsenal are closing in on Udinese winger Gabriel Torje.

The 21-year-old has been dubbed ‘the Romanian Messi’, whether this is because he’s 5ft 5in or due to the way he plays football, only time will tell but he is credited with a significant role in catapulting the club to the top of Serie A this season.

He only signed from Dinamo Bucharest for £9m in the summer, so Arsenal would need to splash the cash in order to prise him away from Udinese.

Another potential Wenger buy could be quashed by filthy-rich Malaga as Talksport revealed that
Real Madrid’s Esteban Granero is being courted by Arsenal and the Qatari owned club.

Arsenal reportedly sent scouts to look at the midfield playmaker, known as ‘The Pirate’, during the summer after Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas left.

It is rumoured that Wenger planned a swoop in January, but the success of this move would be threatened by the intervention of such a wealthy club that could offer a far greater deal to both Real and Granero.

The Gunners also face competition for another target, Andre Ayew of Marseille, as now Inter Milan are interested in signing the 21-year-old.

Arsenal are hopeful of success despite the reported interest from Inter and the £12m priced tag, as Ayew has stated that Arsenal have ‘everything’ a player could want.

He said: “The stadium, the players, the training ground, the budget and the image of the club [Arsenal] makes a lot of players dream.”

Although Inter has those things as well, so where he will end up is anyone’s guess and given he is a Ghanaian international, he will be away for a crucial part of the season along with Gervinho who will be representing the Ivory Coast.

Rumors have also circulated suggesting Theo Walcott may move away from the Emirates, with none other than Juventus and Barcelona being touted as possible destinations.

Last week he was linked with Juve as reports alleged that Walcott’s agent had been approached by officials from the Bianconeri.

When Walcott was asked if he intended to extend his current deal with Arsenal he responded: “I will listen to what Arsenal have to say. Hopefully we will sit down with the club soon and talk things over.”

As always people try and read too much into such statements as he did not ‘commit his future to the club’, but players are not going to reveal their hand too readily when crucial contract negotiations are due to begin.

And now according to The Metro, Barcelona are considering ‘a surprise bid’ for Walcott in the New Year.

Pep Guardiola was apparently impressed with the 22-year-old when the two sides met in last season’s Champions League and is rumored to have lined Walcott up as a replacement for the long-term injured Alexis Sanchez and Ibrahim Afellay.

Perhaps the Barcelona coach should take a look at the England international’s own injury
record otherwise he could find he has another winger sidelined if he goes ahead with the move.

It’s all very unlikely stuff, although Arsenal admitted a big money offer might ‘turn his head’, and possibly theirs too presumably.

The speculation surrounding Robin Van Persie continues only weeks after he mocked the press for continually linking him to Manchester City.

Supposedly Real Madrid are interested in him now as Jose Mourinho wants to show fans he can still bring world class players to the Bernabeu.

But given the players reaction to the City reports it’s unlikely there is any validity to this rumour either.

In other frivolous Arsenal news, Marouane Chamakh’s agent has angrily denied reports his client could be on his way out of the Emirates.

Chamakh has not found his rhythm on the pitch since signing from Bordeaux and now the Moroccan has been linked with a move to Roma.

But his agent, Pierre Frelot, told Italian website calciomercato.it: “The news about Marouane and Roma is completely unfounded. My client is happy at Arsenal and will remain here. There is no doubt.”

Wenger himself also waded into the argument saying: “Marouane is not going anywhere. There is not a problem with Chamakh. He is fighting for the position with Robin Van Persie, who is in great form at the moment. He will get his chance there are so many games at the moment.”

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