Arsenal Transfer News Roundup: Gunners eyeing Martin Zubimendi; club unlikely to target Joao Palhinha in January, and more - January 2, 2024

Fulham FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta suffered another setback over the weekend.

Arsenal lost their second straight Premier League game, following their 2-1 defeat at Fulham on Sunday despite taking the lead in the fifth minute through Bukayo Saka.

Meanwhile, the Gunners are interested in Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi. Elsewhere, the north London side are unlikely to target Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha this month.

On that note, here's a look at the key Arsenal transfer stories as on January 2, 2024:

Arsenal eyeing Martin Zubimendi

Martin Zubimendi has admirers at the Emirates.
Martin Zubimendi has admirers at the Emirates.

Arsenal are interested in Martin Zubimendi, according to journalist Dean Jones. The Spanish midfielder has been on the rise with Real Sociedad recently.

This season, he has had three goals and one assist in 26 outings across competitions. Zubimendi's efforts have earned him admirers at the Emirates, where Arteta is pushing to add more quality to the middle of the park.

The Gunners have had their eyes on the 24-year-old for a while but failed to sign him last summer, as per TNT Sports. The north London side are expected to return for him in the winter. Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Jones added that Arteta is pushing the club to sign Zubimendi.

"There's definitely some serious interest in it. It's hard to gauge at the moment what their ranking would be in terms of order of targets because you've got a few names that they're looking at and the type of player is clearly that defensive-minded one. The guy that is going to keep possession, break up play," said Jones.

He continued:

"But it's really tough to know whether Zubimendi is going to be a top target or just a target.
"It also depends, of course, on how much money they have to invest in that area of the field. It's a player that definitely I know that Mikel Arteta really admires and I think a lot of this is led by him."

The Spanish manager also has his eyes on Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz, according to Football London.

Gunners unlikely to target Joao Palhinha in January

Joao Palhinha's future remains up in the air.
Joao Palhinha's future remains up in the air.

Arsenal are unlikely to target Joao Palhinha in January, according to Dean Jones. The Portuguese midfielder is among the players eyed by the Gunners this winter, according to The Metro. Palhinha was close to leaving Fulham to join Bayern Munich last summer before the move broke down in the eleventh hour.

The 28-year-old has since signed a new deal with the Cottagers but could still leave this month. However, speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Jones said that clubs could be reluctant to match Palhinha's £60 million valuation in the middle of the season.

"A lot of the narrative around Palhinha has been fiction, as far as I’m concerned. It’s been played out publicly like there are three, four, maybe even five teams looking to sign him in January, but the reality is that the chance of that many clubs being able to sign a £60m midfielder halfway through the season is slim.
"I think there have been some intermediaries at work possibly, trying to work up interest," said Jones.

He continued:

"Don’t get me wrong, he’s an outstanding footballer and Fulham can’t keep hold of him forever. But I’ll be staggered if Arsenal or Chelsea or Liverpool step up with big money.
"Manchester United were linked, but again, there is no sign of them spending this sort of money yet. You could argue that Man City might be one that could afford it and possibly need him - but, so far, I’ve not heard much about their interest."

Palhinha has appeared 20 times across competitions this season for Fulham, scoring two goals and setting up one.

Arsenal plan Reiss Nelson loan exit

Reiss Nelson could be on the move in January.
Reiss Nelson could be on the move in January.

Arsenal are willing to allow Reiss Nelson to leave on loan in January, according to Football Insider.

The English striker generated a lot of interest in the summer of 2023, but the Gunners refused to let him go. Nelson signed a new deal last summer but has struggled for game time. The 24-year-old has appeared 17 times this season, registering one goal and three assists.

The north London side are considering his departure in January, but only on a temporary deal. Nelson is highly rated at the Emirates, and there's considerable interest in the player's services from Premier League sides. However, Arsenal will only allow him to leave on loan.

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