Who could Arsenal sign in the January transfer window?
By Nick Wright
Last Updated: 31/12/15 10:27am
Arsene Wenger says he'll be busy in the transfer window.
The Gunners go into 2016 at the top of the Premier League table thanks to Monday's 2-0 win over Bournemouth, and the manager fulled speculation about possible new arrivals in his press conference on Wednesday.
But who could he turn to in January? Here, we assess the areas in need of strengthening and look at some of the names to have been linked with the club...
Arsenal are reportedly set to kick off their January spending with the signing of Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny from Basel. According to the Daily Mirror, the Gunners have agreed a £5m fee for the 23-year-old and he underwent a successful medical on Tuesday.
Wenger is currently without a host of central midfielders due to injuries to Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta, with Elneny set to provide much-needed support. Soccer Saturday pundit Charlie Nicholas, meanwhile, thinks the Gunners should target Manchester United's Michael Carrick.
"It makes sense for me to go for someone between the ages of 30-32," he told Sky Sports. "I think there are a few about and if I was Arsenal I would go for Carrick. He's not got the legs and pace but I think you need somebody with experience who has authority and gets the ball and passes it."
Carrick for Arsenal
Arsenal should try to sign Michael Carrick in January, according to Charlie Nicholas.
Another possibility could be Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama who, after seeing a transfer request rejected in the summer, produced a man-of-the-match performance in his side's 4-0 win over the Gunners on Boxing Day. Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic may be another option. He's currently on loan at Inter Milan from Dinamo Zagreb. Italian outlet Calcio Mercato say Wenger is considering meeting the £18m asking price for the 23-year-old.
And the names don't stop there, either. The Sun recently reported that Arsenal could move for Sevilla's Grzegorz Krychowiak, while Portuguese outlet O Jogo say the Gunners are interested in Porto midfielder Danilo Pereira.
Arsenal have also been linked with a number of wide players, including Leicester's Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian has been one of the Premier League's outstanding players this season, with 13 goals and seven assists in 18 appearances for the Foxes, and according to the Daily Mail the Gunners are one of several leading clubs monitoring his situation.
Mahrez is valued at around £25m, but Arsenal might find a cheaper alternative in Spain. According to reports in the Daily Mirror and Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, the Gunners are interested in Celta Vigo star Nolito. The 29-year-old has shone in La Liga this season, scoring eight goals and claiming five assists and breaking into the Spanish national team.
And while Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott have impressed for Arsenal this season, could Wenger be tempted to bring in striking reinforcements? According to the Daily Star, the Frenchman is considering a move for Javier Hernandez from Bayer Leverkusen.
The Mexican has shone since joining the German outfit from Manchester United in the summer, scoring 19 goals in 25 appearances including a hat-trick in a recent win over Borussia Monchengladbach.
There have also been reports in France linking Arsenal with Dynamo Moscow striker Aleksandr Kokorin, who has been encouraged to make the move to north London by former Manchester United midfielder Andre Kanchelskis. "Arsenal are the best option for Alexander's career," Kanchelskis said. "If he is prepared to work a lot, he will not have any problems. He will not be like Andrei Arshavin, and will become a top class forward for the London club."
Wenger tends to leave marquee signings until the summer but he will surely be tempted to strengthen their squad given their chances of ending their long wait for a Premier League title this season.
Midfielder Elneny looks like he could be the first new arrival - and Gunners fans will be hoping Wenger has another surprise or two up his sleeve.