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Big news today, and a transfer of sorts, with Arsenal set to extend the lease on their perennial piece of furniture, Arsene Wenger, potentially taking him beyond the two-decade mark as Gunners manager.
Arsene and Arsenal are locked together in a seemingly eternal circle of rebuilding and justification, with their marriage proving to be long, sometimes fruitful, and always eventful.
Sadly, Wolfgang Wolf wasn’t afforded enough time to consolidate a legacy as manager of Wolfsburg. Yes, this really did happen.
Today’s Transfer Lens features the Gunners and their potential move for Lyon midfielder Gourcuff, as well as an interesting piece concerning a swap deal between Liverpool and Napoli.
1. Yoann Gourcuff to Arsenal?
I can barely remember a transfer window where the now Lyon playmaker hasn’t been linked with a move to Arsenal, and you feel that this is a move that will surely eventually happen.
This January, Arsenal have targeted Gourcuff once more, claim to the Daily Mail, as the Gunners look for possible alternatives to German wunderkind Julian Draxler.
The Mail report that the Draxler deal is proving to be highly difficult to negotiate and with deadline day fast approaching, Arsenal believe a move for Gourcuff would be easier to push through before the end of January.
It was said that the player, who can play in central midfield or just behind the front man, was not looking for a move this month, but considering Lyon’s recent financial plight, Arsenal believe they can persuade the club to sanction a move.
The 27-year-old has been in good form this season, but has endured a career of fluctuating fortunes, having failed to make an impact at AC Milan back in 2006, resurrecting his career at Bordeaux, before moving to Lyon in 2010 for a whopping €22m.
Julian Draxler is arguably the brightest young prospect in Europe, while Gourcuff is an often inconsistent 27-year-old. Not the best comparison, and if Arsenal are considering a move for Gourcuff, it really should be only a short term option.
Wenger has tracked the Frenchman for many moons now, but as he is entering the final third of his career, Arsenal should really be focusing on bringing in a striker if the Draxler deal falls through.
2. Gokhan Inler to Liverpool?
Liverpool are interested in Napoli midfielder Gokhan Inler, according to Italian site ‘Il Roma’ (via TuttoNapoli), with Brendan Rodgers in the market for midfield reinforcement following the injury to Lucas.
The Brazilian destroyer is set for a spell on the sidelines with knee ligament damage, and with former boss Rafa Benitez reportedly very keen to bring Daniel Agger to Napoli, a potential swap deal including Inler and Agger could well be on the cards.
Benitez had been considering a loan move for the Dane, but with Liverpool now in need of a midfielder to provide cover for the crocked Lucas, Napoli may well have a useful bargaining chip in the form of Swiss international, Inler.
An all-action central midfielder with an accomplished passing range, the 29-year-old has been ever present during Napoli’s Serie A campaign this season, but Benitez is reportedly happy to lose the player, if he can land Agger in the process.
The Reds are in need of a solid defensive midfielder and Inler fits the bill, with Brendan Rodgers continuing to evolve his possession oriented football.
A swap deal for Agger also make sense. The Danish defender has struggled to get games when Sakho was fit, an indication that he doesn’t feature in Rodgers’ first team plans.
So, why not sell him now and get a quality player like Inler? Despite reports to the contrary, I reckon Rafael Benitez would not entertain such ideas, as Inler has established himself as one of the key members of this Napoli side.
What do you think? Agree with our verdicts? Let us know in the comments below…