Arsenal weekend round-up: Higuain transfer defeat and January bid for Bender

All the latest news and gossip from The Emirates this weekend.

Arsene Wenger has admitted he was defeated in his pursuit of Gonzalo Higuain this summer. Speaking ahead of the meeting with Higuain’s current side Napoli he suggested that circumstances worked out better for the Argentine to move to Italy - as Arsenal considered other prospects. 

But Wenger insisted he had moved on, suggesting that signing Mesut Ozil eased the pain:

"Napoli took advantage of that at the right moment, it's more about timing as well.

"In the end Real Madrid sold two great players, one of them went to Napoli, one [Mesut Ozil] went to Arsenal so it's 1-1 on that front."

Meanwhile Higuain revealed to the Sunday People he had no regrets over coming to Napoli over waiting for a deal to materialise with The Gunners:

“I am very happy that I have joined Napoli. We have started well in the league in Italy and have got off to a good start in Europe too. I know there was other interest from England and Italy, but I am very sure that I made the right choice by joining Napoli and have no regrets. It is a club where I can achieve everything I want.’’ 

Arsenal are riding the crest of a wave, and are ready to utilise that fact in order to snap up yet another German talent.

Arsenal had an offer of £18.5 million for Bayer Leverkusen holding midfielder Lars Bender rejected in the summer- but they are prepared to make a bid for the player once again in January.

Arsenal’s first Emirates hat-trick scorer finally finds a new club … for £40k-a-week in Thailand!

The club are looking for a long-term replacement for Mikel Arteta - and are hoping the presence of fellow Germans Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski, Mesut Ozil and Serge Gnabry might persuade him to consider the move.

Demba Ba could still make a move to Arsenal in January. A loan deal for the player collapsed on Deadline Day and the bookies still believe a deal could happen - as the Senegalese struggles to earn a place in the first-team at Stamford Bridge. 

Napoli have announced their squad for the Champions League game on Tuesday. You can see it here …

Napoli announce squad for Arsenal tie - Reina and Higuain feature

There is still plenty of reaction to Arsenal’s comfortable 2-1 away victory against Swansea yesterday evening. A goal from Serge Gnabry and Aaron Ramsey apiece set the two teams apart at The Liberty Stadium - where former Cardiff City player Ramsey stole the show.

Manchester clubs struggle as balance of power shifts back to London

He set up Gnabry for his goal and was named the Barclays Man of the Match as his impressive season continued.

Arsene Wenger has also been singing the praises of Serge Gnabry:

‘’He is surprising. He has the talent but the personality on the pitch as well. He doesn't look timid, he looks to play with belief and of course talent.’’

Mesut Ozil was given assurances over Wenger receiving a new contract at the end of the season - an agreement that was apparently a deal maker. Ozil was reportedly concerned about the fact the Frenchman’s contract expired at the end of the season. However with these revelations, and those of Stan Kroenke last week, it looks as if Wenger will be adding to his 17 years.

Michael Owen believes Arsenal are not a top four team, but has quickly been rebuked by Piers Morgan for his assertion.

You can read about both in two excellent pieces on our site…

Piers Morgan reacts to Owen’s Arsenal claims: Calls him a ‘benchwarmer’ and a ‘clown’

Why Michael Owen couldn't be more wrong about Arsenal's top four credentials

image: © dundasfc

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