Arsenal unlikely to make signings, but trio poised to extend contracts

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has played down the possibility of new additions this month, but three current Gunners will stay at the club.

A number of players have been linked with moves to the Emirates Stadium in the January transfer window, with many expecting Wenger to spend big again after his £42.5m capture of Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil in September, in a bid to secure the Premier League title after an impressive first half of the season.

Despite Arsenal seeking their first silverware since lifting the FA Cup in 2005, it seems Wenger will choose to play through the recent injuries to forwards Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott, and stick with the squad he has rather than bring anybody else in.

Top quality players are rarely available in the January transfer window, and Wenger concurs with that notion, insisting that bringing players in doesn't necessarily lead to improvement.

"It looks very unlikely, today is 23 January and at the moment we are not close to anything," Wenger said. "Overall we have a very strong squad. If something exceptional turns up we will do it but having said that not everybody will strengthen. They buy, but buy does not always mean strengthen."

The Gunners have been strongly linked with a blockbuster swoop for Schalke's German International Julian Draxler, but with a rumoured £40m price tag on the 20-year-old's head, it's unlikely that Wenger will splash out that much just months after landing Ozil for a similar fee.

There was more positive news for Arsenal fans though, as Wenger suggested a key trio were set to extend their stays in North London. Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky all moved nearer to new contracts, and Wenger said that the deals are progressing for a number of them.

"That's very, very close yes," Wenger added. "Not for all of them but for most of them."

Sagna has been strongly linked with a return to France, whilst Rosicky's great form this season has seen him suggested as a possible target for Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich. Meanwhile, Mertesacker has formed an almost impenetrable partnership with Laurent Koscielny in the heart of the Arsenal defence, so tying up his long-term future was a priority for Wenger.

The news is a big boost for Arsenal fans, who will now be anxiously awaiting news regarding Wenger's future, with a new contract also rumoured to be in the pipeline for the Frenchman.

images: © Matt and Kim Rudge, © Ronnie Macdonald

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