Suarez to sign
Suarez to sign for Arsenal?

Arsenal transfer gossip: Wednesday 31 December 2015

Today’s Arsenal transfer gossip indicates that Arsene Wenger’s priorities are switching from signing a central defender to a defensive midfielder.

The return of Laurent Koscielny to first team action at West Ham seems to have eased the immediate concerns about Arsenal’s lack of defensive cover.

However, the decision not to sign another centre back in the Summer has already cost the Gunners in the first part of the season.

So it would be a gamble not to sign a defender in the upcoming transfer window, but Arsene Wenger and necessity don’t always go hand in hand in transfer dealings.

And if this morning’s newspaper gossip is to be believed Wenger has now identified central midfield as the area he will look to strengthen when the January transfer window opens.

Wenger hinted at needing to strengthen his midfield options at his press conference yesterday, ahead of the Premier League visit to take on Southampton at St Mary’s on New Year’s Day (Thursday).

‘If you look at the number of games some players played and the injuries we have with Wilshere, Ramsey and Arteta, we are a bit short at the moment in midfield,’ Wenger said.

Wenger has recalled Francis Coquelin from a loan spell at Charlton and he started alongside Mathieu Flamini in the win at West Ham on Sunday.

Despite the win, and Wenger’s hope that Coquelin can have a successful career at Arsenal, the reaction on social media to the Coquelin and Flamin pairing was beyond parody.

Now the Daily Mail is reporting Arsenal are close to signing Atletico Madrid holding midfielder Mario Suarez, according to reports in Spain.

The 27-year-old played 22 games last season as Atletico won La Liga and made it to the Champions League final, but has fallen out of favour this season.

With the likes of Gabi, Tiago, Raul Garcia and Saul Niguez ahead of him in the pecking order under Diego Simeone, Suarez is looking to move on.

Suarez has fallen behind the likes of Gabi, Tiago, Raul Garcia and Saul Niguez in Diego Simeone’s plans.

The Daily Mail quote respected Spanish journalist Eduardo Inda, a former editor of Madrid-based paper Marca, Suarez ‘will almost certainly go in the winter transfer window’.

Suarez was a key member of the Atletico side that reached last season’s Champions League final

He is from Madrid and has been at Atletico since he was 12, but is now set to move away.

Suarez, capped twice for Spain, has been at Atletico since he was 12 years old, with the exception of a two-year spell at Mallorca, who sold him back to his first club in 2010.

The Daily Star and Independent though are reporting that Arsenal have other midfield targets.

The Gunners are submitting a £25.5m bid for 22-year-old Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho. Daily Star

Newcastle will snub a £9m bid which Arsenal are believed to be lining up for the club’s French midfielder Moussa Sissoko, 25. Independent

Whilst if Arsene wants to pull his usual transfer trick of signing an attacking playmaker cum striker then he should head to Italy.

AC Milan have told clubs including Arsenal and Liverpool that striker Stephan El Shaarawy, 22, will cost £11.5m if they want to sign him in January. Daily Express

Finally there is news on a couple of promising young players who have been linked with the Gunners.

Norway midfielder Martin Odegaard, 16, will snub Arsenal and Europe’s top clubs and sign instead for Southampton. Daily Star

Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City have made enquiries for St Etienne defensive midfielder Rayan Souici, 17, who has been dubbed the new Paul Pogba. Daily Mail