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Arsenal targets

From Mandzukic to Draxler, who are Arsenal trying to sign? We pick some possible buys.

Last Updated: 23/01/14 at 10:18

ALVARO MORATA

Age: 21
Nationality: Spain
Club: Real Madrid
Position: Striker
Estimated Value: £1.2m loan fee / £9m permanent
Alternative Targets: Alexandre Pato (Corinthians), Salomon Kalou (Lillie) & Javier Hernandez (Manchester United)

Arsenal have been widely reported to have been in talks with Real Madrid for some time regarding Spaniard Alvaro Morata. Arsene Wenger's approach was said to be to try and sign last summer's European Under 21 Championship top scorer on loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent deal. However, the loan alone might cost as much as £1.2million and Morata has said he does not want to leave Real. Regardless, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool are also thought to be interested alongside Arsenal and speculation which suggests Real will sign a big-name striker in the summer could push Morata, whose contract expires in 2015, even further out of the frame.

MARIO MANDZUKIC

Age: 27
Nationality: Croatia
Club: Bayern Munich
Position: Forward
Estimated Value: £23m
Alternative Targets: Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Pedro (Barcelona) & Mirko Vucinic (Juventus)

Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic is standing out as potentially one of the biggest Premier League deals of January. Arsenal, along with Manchester United, are rumoured to be after the Croatian amid reports he will be available due to Robert Lewandowski's imminent summer move to Bayern from Borussia Dortmund. As is the norm in any transfer window, club (Bayern) publicly insist player (Mandzukic) is not for sale and there has even been the usual mention of extending his contract beyond its current end in 2016. But Arsenal are still rumoured to be showing strong interest, maybe even for a loan, in a player who scored 15 goals in last season's Bundesliga.

JACKSON MARTINEZ

Age: 27
Nationality: Colombia
Club: Porto
Position: Forward
Estimated Value: £33.2m
Alternative Targets: Salomon Rondon (Rubin Kazan), Alexandre Pato (Corinthians)

Possible Arsenal exits:

Park Chu-Young
Spent 2012/13 on loan at Celta Vigo and has since made just one appearance for Arsenal
Ryo Miyaichi
Only starts in the current campaign have come in the Capital One Cup
Thomas Vermaelen
Now behind Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny in the first team

Depending on the reports, Jackson Martinez and Morata are interchangeable as Arsenal's first-choice target and fall-back option in the transfer window. It is rumoured that if Arsenal cannot strike a short-term deal for Morata, they are prepared to spend big on Porto star Martinez, who is said to have a £33.2m buyout clause in his contract. Martinez has admitted in the past he is an Arsenal fan and would be interested in a move to Emirates Stadium. He also has pedigree having scored seven goals so far in the Portuguese top flight this season. That is a reason why Porto are trying to get the forward to sign a new contract.

DIMITAR BERBATOV

Age: 32 (33 on 30th January)
Nationality: Bulgaria
Club: Fulham
Position: Striker
Estimated Value: £2m
Alternative Targets: Demba Ba (Chelsea), Mirko Vucinic (Juventus), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid) & Fernando Llorente (Juventus)

The possibility of signing Dimitar Berbatov is a rumour which is refusing to go away despite Wenger previously denying his interest in Fulham's former Tottenham star. It would be a short-term option given Berbatov's age but he would reportedly also be available in a cut-price £2m deal. Berbatov is speculated to be unhappy at struggling Fulham and a move across London would mean little to no disruption to his personal life. Arsenal remain the favourites to sign the Bulgarian if he does leave Craven Cottage and he would give Wenger's squad experience along with strength in depth.

JULIAN DRAXLER

Age: 20
Nationality: Germany
Club: Schalke
Position: Midfield
Estimated Value: £37.5m
Alternative Targets: Juan Mata (Chelsea), Alen Halilovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Koke (Atletico Madrid) & Clement Grenier (Lyon)

Schalke wonder-kid Julian Draxler is a player Arsenal have been trying to sign for what seems like an eternity. The latest reports suggest Wenger will finally complete a deal this January after the creative midfielder, who is already a star despite his young age, was supposedly given a tour of Arsenal's training ground. Draxler, who is also said to be currently injured, will not come cheap with a rumoured £37.5m contract release clause and Arsenal are of course not short of midfielders but he is a unique talent. However, even if a deal is agreed this month, it would be a surprise if Draxler moved before the summer given Schalke are facing Real Madrid in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League while the youngster is thought to want to avoid the disruption of moving away from Germany before a World Cup in which he is expected to be a prominent member of his country's squad. Arsenal are also said to be prepared to offer Lukas Podolski as part of any deal for Draxler.

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C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

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e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

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urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

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Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

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