Arsenal transfer news: Lemar drops big hint, Wenger confident on Ozil stay and more - 17th December 2017
Thomas Lemar drops the biggest hint yet
The AS Monaco playmaker was subject to interest from Arsenal throughout the summer and eventually, the move did not happen due to the Ligue 1 club's reluctance to sell coupled with a sufficient lack of time for Arsenal to complete the deal. However, the Gunners were determined to come back in for the player in 2018 as he could prove to be a good quality replacement for the likes of departing Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
Monaco's exit from the Champions League has put the 22-year old's immediate future in doubt as rumours began of the Frenchman looking for a January exit. This has sparked interest from several clubs such as Chelsea, Liverpool and Barcelona, apart from Arsenal.
Recently, Lemar dropped a big hint as to what could be his next destination on Instagram. The attacking midfielder liked a fan's comment on the social networking site, causing an uproar amongst the Gunners faithful.
While this represents pure speculation and as anything can happen in the current transfer market, there is no doubt that this is a positive sign for the Gunners as they await the opening of the January transfer window.
Arsene Wenger confident Ozil will stay beyond the summer
Ther German World Cup winner is in the final year of his contract and has so far refused to sign a new one to extend his stay at the London club. However, the 29-year old has continued to fight for his team's cause, as exemplified by his stunning volley against Newcastle this weekend to secure three points for his side. Wenger commended Ozil in his post-match press conference by saying:
"It's superb, he can deliver that. It's important for him that he takes the risk to do what he did. Usually, he is a guy who, 99 percent of the time, in this position, he controls the ball and gives it to somebody else.So I'm pleased he took the gamble to finish and I'm happy as well that he scored a very important goal."
Further, the Arsenal gaffer was asked about whether Ozil will sign a new deal and he replied:
"I'm confident, yes, but what does that mean? I don't know."
While the reply seems cryptic, Arsenal fans can definitely be more hopeful of the 29-year old staying compared to Sanchez, as Wenger has regularly spoken positively about Ozil staying in recent weeks. In the current situation, retaining at least one player will prove to be a success for Arsenal and Ozil is their best bet for that at the moment.
Arsenal join the race to sign Virgil van Dijk
The Southampton centre-back was Liverpool's number one priority in the summer transfer window but the Merseyside club paid the price of celebrating his arrival before agreeing on a fee with the South coast club. The Saints refused to sell the player and now the January transfer window offers another opportunity for Van Dijk to move to a top-six club.
This time around, apart from Liverpool, Pep Guardiola's Manchester City and Wenger's Arsenal are interested in the Dutch international. The London side's interest is now being reported by The Times and they are strongly considering bidding for the player in 2018. However, they face stiff competition from Liverpool, where Jurgen Klopp is a huge admirer and from City, where Guardiola believes the 26-year old to be an able replacement for the ageing Vincent Kompany.
Meanwhile, if the Gunners can indeed pull off the signing, then it could prove to be a top signing as Wenger can pair Van Dijk with Shkodran Mustafi to form a stable partnership in the heart of his defence for the next few years.