When Radamel Falcao called Arsenal "a big English club"

AS Monaco striker and Real Madrid target is still linked with a move to Arsenal, a club he wanted to join three years ago.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger pressed the need for "secrecy" when asked for a comment on the club's intended transfer market plans during the concluding four days in the summer window.

Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy, Calum Chambers and David Ospina have all joined the Gunners in recent months, but detractors still highlighted the lack of a genuinely elite-level striker, no might in defensive midfield positions and no experienced centre back as evidence that Arsenal's intended title-challenging plans could come unstuck at various points throughout the current campaign.

Following the news that primary striker Olivier Giroud would be sidelined until 2015 due to a fracture of his ankle, Arsenal's need for a forward in the summer market became a mandatory requirement - and at a press conference earlier today, Wenger was asked why he "won't just go and sign [potentially available] Radamel Falcao", even if it is on a loan basis with a view to a permanent signing at the end of the deal.

"It's very difficult to go into all that," he said. "Once again all the negotiations have to be as secret as possible and if we sign somebody, even if we sign Falcao, you will be informed."

There are few prolific, international standard goalscorers currently available, yet the addition of Falcao at the Emirates Stadium would no doubt lend credence to the club's title-challenging claim.

There was even a time when Falcao not only called Arsenal "a big English club" but mentioned that he would welcome the prospect of "experiencing" that.

In 2011, while he was at FC Porto and at a time when he had just returned 38 goals in 42 games in all competitions, Falcao told the media: "I prefer not to read the press but I know I have been linked with Real Madrid and big English clubs like Arsenal and Tottenham. In Europe there are big leagues and I am at a moment of my career when I would like to experience it."

Perhaps Wenger's desire for secrecy stems from the allegation that Arsenal are not the only interested party in any Falcao deal, as Juventus and, more worryingly for the upper brass at N5, Real Madrid are also in the running.

If the chance of joining his Colombia team-mate James Rodriguez at Real presented itself, Falcao would no doubt find it hard to reject, regardless of any deal from a big English club like Arsenal.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch