Arsenal weekend round-up: Potential new Wenger contract and deal for Romanian 'close'

A round up of the latest news and gossip about the Gunners.

Arsene Wenger will not rush into new contract talks with Arsenal. Reports this morning have suggested that the Gunners will make a £15 million offer to the Frenchman along with a £40 million budget to spend on players in the winter transfer window.

Arsenal are reportedly negotiating a deal to sign free agent Ciprian Marica. The Romanian is a free agent after leaving German side FC Schalke although the Gunners face competition from West Ham United in the fight to sign him.

National papers are running quotes from agent Ioan Becali that a deal is imminent with both parties waiting until this coming week to conclude the deal. However the quotes appear similar to ones which appeared one month ago, with the possibility the reports could well be inaccurate.

Another potential free transfer the Gunners are reportedly eyeing up is that of Barcelona defender Martin Montoya. The Spaniard is out of contract at the Nou Camp at the end of the season and Arsenal are thought to be leading the race to get the chance to sign him.

New signing Mesut Ozil has claimed he would have signed for the club on a free transfer after speaking with Arsene Wenger. The Gunners paid Real Madrid £42.5 million to capture the German play maker.

“In some way, that conversation flicked a switch in me and made me realise what I had lost at Madrid, transparency, trust, respect - I can not do anything about the transfer fee. I would have come for free, too,” he told Die Welt.

One player who has not been so complimentary about Arsenal’s boss is former winger and forward Gervinho, who blames Wenger for his failed spell in North London.

“I was not getting much time on the pitch and was in need of this time to improve and play my best football - Wenger was not prepared to give it to me,” he told SunSport.

Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen says he is looking forward to a return to action with the first team. The centre back has been out of action with a back problem and has targeted the League Cup tie with West Brom for his return.

“The West Brom game [in the Capital One Cup] is a few weeks away yet and hopefully I will be closer to a return. I can’t put a date on my comeback. But I am really happy with how things are going so far,” said the Belgian.

Vermaelen’s return would be invaluable to Arsenal and winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fully believes his side can challenge for the Premier League title against Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs.

The Gunners will take part in the Premier League Under-21 Cup. The tournament is intended to run hand-in-hand beside the Under-21 Premier League and will involve teams from 51 academy setups. Arsenal will go straight into the last 32 stage of the tournament.

image: © dyobmit

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