Arsenal boss Arteta plotting late swoop for striker

Signing possible in transfer window’s final week

Thursday, 27th January — By Steve Barnett

Mikel Arteta IMG_7781 (1)

Mikel Arteta: ‘We are certainly trying, but I don’t know if we’re going to be able to do it’

MIKEL Arteta is facing an anxious race against the clock as he desperately tries to improve his squad during a “difficult” January transfer window.

The Gunners’ boss is said to be redoubling his efforts to add some much-needed firepower to an ailing attack.

He also wants to sign a marauding midfielder before Monday’s 11pm deadline in a bid to bolster any chance Arsenal might have of finishing in the Premier League’s top four this season.

There was little surprise this week when news broke that Arteta had missed out on top target Dusan Vlahovic – the Fiorentina forward instead edging ever closer to joining Juventus.

Forced to explore other options, Arsenal are now rumoured to be interested in Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak, but a deal for either striker would prove challenging this month.

A loan move for Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic may be a more realistic option, with the Serbia international struggling for game time.

Having seen Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey both pick up needless red cards recently, Arteta is also keen to reinforce his midfield. A move to bring in Arthur Melo from Juventus is fading fast, so a loan move for Paris Saint-Germain and former Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum could instead be on the cards.

Sharing his frustration at the way this window is unfolding, Arteta said: “Well, we are certainly trying, but I don’t know if we’re going to be able to do it [make signings].

“Let’s see. It’s not only our intention, but a lot of facts that are needed to happen.”

Quizzed on whether Arsenal should have moved faster to bring in new signings, the Spaniard added: “I think that’s the dream of every manager: to have them in the team on the first day. But it isn’t realistic and in this window as well, the history of this window, a lot of signings happen right at the end.”

Meanwhile, down the Seven Sisters Road, Tottenham are also working hard on new signings.

Discussions over a £20m deal for Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Adama Traore are said to be going well, with the two clubs now just five million pounds apart in their valuations of the 25-year-old.

There are also reports that Spurs are in talks with Porto to sign Luis Diaz, and are willing to pay up to £46m for the winger.

Negotiations are, however, believed to have stalled, with Porto wanting nearer £50.2m for Diaz, who has scored 16 goals and registered six assists in 28 games for the Portuguese side so far this season.

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