Arsenal; Jan 2008 Transfer Window round-up - Week 3


Colin Illingworth

Colin is a sub-editor on a regional newspaper and is a die-hard Aberdeen fan. He's prepared to sell his soul to the Devil for the Dons to return to their former glory so Satan, if you're reading this, give him a call!...
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21/01/2008 10:00:00.
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The Gunners got back to winning ways on Saturday but with the transfer window coming to a close Arsene Wenger is being linked with a number of potential transfers.

The week began with The Sun reporting that Arsenal were keeping tabs on 18-year-old Marseille attacking midfielder Andre Ayew (15/1/08). The Ghanaian youngster is the son of former Marseille star Abedi Pele and has attracted a lot of interest across Europe, but he must be excited at being linked with a move to the Emirates. The French giants are apparently holding out for £5 million for the youngster.

The ongoing saga surrounding Lassana Diarra continued to make the headlines this week with the Daily Mirror claiming that Portsmouth were due to beat Tottenham to the Frenchmanís signature (15/1/08). By the end of the week the international midfielder, who cost Arsenal just £2 million in the summer, did indeed sign for Harry Redknappís men for a fee believed to be about £5.5 million. Not a bad bit of business for a player who couldnít stamp his authority in Arsenalís first team.

Arsenalís title challengers Chelsea completed the £15 million transfer of former Arsenal striker Nicolas Anelka and Arsene Wenger couldnít help but have a little dig at their West London rivals by claiming that the striker, who left the club for £22.3 million, would rather be playing for Arsenal. However, Wenger has other things to be concerned about with the revelation that Mathieu Flamini is stalling on a new contract (The Sun 16/1/08). The 23-year-old has been in fine form this season and has formed a great partnership with Cesc Fabregas, keeping World Cup-winner Gilberto out of the side. He has threatened to leave the club before but I think heís just holding out for a bit more money and would be mad to leave the Emirates.

Arsenalís youngsters could book their place in the Carling Cup final for the second time in as many years on Tuesday as they take on North London neighbours Tottenham and itís not a surprise to see rival managers eyeing up their talented crop of players for loan spells. The latest boss to reportedly make such an offer is Watfordís Aidy Boothroyd. The Hornets are riding high in the Championship but Boothroyd is thought to be interested in left-back Armand Traore (Daily Star 16/1/08) to give them more options at the back.

Two players have reportedly caught the eye of Arsene Wenger though, and one of them is thought to be a bit of an animal. Torpedo Moscow defender Vyacheslav Dmitriev is nicknamed the elephant due to his seemingly slow reactions but the 17-year-old Russian must have something about him for Wenger to be interested in him (The Sun 16/1/08). The other player is Brazilian wonderkid Neymar (News of the World 20/1/08). Neymar is just 15 years old and has been described as the most talented teenager in the world. Unsurprisingly Arsenal face a battle to sign him though with Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea also monitoring the situation.

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