News and gossip from The Emirates this past 24 hours.
Arsenal face off against Brighton in the FA Cup fourth round but will be without both their team captains. Belgian centre back Thomas Vermaelen has injured his ankle and has been confirmed as absent as has Mikel Arteta who has faled to return in time for the game at the Amex arena. There is good news however as Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky are both believed to be on the brink of a return to action. Francis Coquelin is still expected to be absent with a hamstring problem while Gervinho is still in South Africa on international duty.
Arsene Wenger believes that football clubs should be subjected to stricter rules in relation to the January transfer window. He was citing the example of Newcastle United who have already brought in an influx of new talent this month while Arsenal have remained stagnant. The Frenchman believes that teams should be limited to just two signings in the window. He also made it clear that he has not made any approach for David Villa or Momo Diame.
Wenger has also had to deny rumours linking him with a summer move to German outfit Schalke 04. He stated that the Bundesliga was a ‘very interesting championship’ but voiced his strong desire to remain at The Emirates stadium for at least the remaining 18 months of his current contract.
Johan Djourou has revealed his desire to make a current loan deal at Hannover a permanent one. He has grown increasingly irritated at his bit-part role at The Emirates and believes at the age of 26 that the time is right to continue his career elsewhere. However no option-to-buy has been included in the loan deal; a fact that has perturbed the Swiss international.
Some news sources are reporting that Montpellier have offered Arsenal their star player Younes Belhanda. Fenerbahce are in the front of the queue for his signature but the Morocco international is believed to be keener toward a move to England. Spurs are also believed to be in the hunt for the £12 million for the player.
Finally and Arsenal face battles for two of their reported French transfer targets. Lyon midfielder Yoann Gourcuff is believed to have become the subject of interest from La Liga side Atletico Madrid. On the other hand talented French teenager Florian Thauvin, who is currently playing for Ligue 1 outfit Bastia, is being tracked by both Arsenal and Newcastle United.
What are your thoughts on everything Arsenal on the 25th January 2013?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald