Arsenal latest: €36m defender linked, double contract boost and Podolski fit

All the latest news and gossip from the past 24 hours at The Emirates.

Arsene Wenger has been speaking about transfer speculation today - and the January Transfer Window as a whole … and once again he does not seem to be giving much away. 

On the subject of Julian Draxler being reportedly spotted at the Arsenal training ground, he compared it to the sighting of a UFO.

He also said of continued links with Dimitar Berbatov of Fulham:

“I don't think so [sign Berbatov] because we have Bendtner who is coming back; we have Yaya Sanogo who is making very good progress in training. Of course we have lost Theo Walcott and that for us was a big blow but hopefully we can compensate. We have not made any approach.”

He also added his voice to the idea of scrapping the window. Wenger has often criticised the January market - and was no different today.

Meanwhile he also revealed that both Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna are on the verge of new contracts at the club. Sagna’s deal expires at the end of the season and was reportedly offered a bank busting deal by Galatasaray recently.

Wenger also spoke today of his own future at the club, stating:

“There is always a point where you have to decide, of course. There is a point where you have to decide and there is a point where you have to make your decision public."

Wenger is expected to sign his new deal in the coming months.

Arsenal are set to fight it out with Manchester United and Barcelona for Athletic Bilbao talent Aymeric Laporte.

The young centre-back is capped at under-20 level by France and has become a mainstay in the Basque side this season - as they currently sit fourth in the table.

However he has a release clause of €36 million.

Arsenal take on Fulham tomorrow and have Lukas Podolski fit after a hamstring niggle. Nicklas Bendtner is out while Nacho Monreal and Tomas Rosicky are major doubts. Mikel Arteta, Thomas Vermaelen and Aaron Ramsey are also out - so Per Mertesacker will captain the side.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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