Arsenal Transfer News: Latest Buzz Surrounding Wilfried Zaha and Other Targets

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJanuary 16, 2013

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15: Wilfred Zaha of Crystal Palace looks on during the FA Cup with Budweiser Third Round replay match between Stoke City and Crystal Palace at Britannia Stadium on January 15, 2013 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The January transfer window has been open for 15 days, and Arsenal fans are starting to get a little anxious. 

Arsene Wenger, who is often criticized for his unwillingness to break out the big bucks, has yet to make a signing for the Gunners, who currently sit in sixth place in the EPL.

However, help could certainly be on the way. 

While it's important to note that any transfer buzz needs to be taken with a grain of salt (I heard Messi might go to the Seattle Sounders!), Wenger certainly appears to have his eye on several intriguing targets. 

Let's take a look at the most recent news.  

Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace's youngster is easily one of the most sought-after stars this winter, and according to Sky Sports' Peter O'Rourke, Arsenal is one of two clubs going hard after him:

United are thought to be leading the chase for Zaha and they are expected to firm up their interest with a bid for the skilful winger this week.

Arsenal have also been long-term admirers of Zaha and they are ready to rival United for the 20-year-old.

Zaha, who has already made his debut with England, is arguably the top non-EPL English talent around. He is blessed with wonderful pace and the ability to beat defenders with the dribble is unrivaled. 

Nevertheless, Palace manager Ian Holloway has stated his reluctance to let his young starlet go, so it will be interesting to not only see if the Gunners can outbid Manchester United, but if they can change Holloway's mind. 

Mohamed Diame

On the significantly-less-sexy front, Arsenal appears ready to make a move for West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame.

The news comes from Phil Thomas at The Sun:

Arsenal are lining up a move to nick West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame.

The Hammers have offered the Senegal star, 25, a new deal just six months after he joined from Wigan Athletic.

But it depends on him agreeing to double a release clause to £7million.

Diame has yet to sign and the Gunners are keen on him—just as soon as he proves his fitness again.

Signing Diame won't get as much press as signing Zaha would, but the Senegal international is a terrific holding midfielder when healthy.

While his health concerns would make this a bit of a risky acquisition, the low price tag all but cancels out that risk. 

Hatem Ben Arfa

The 25-year-old midfielder reportedly wants to stay in England, but he doesn't want to do it at Newcastle. 

At least that's what he told Beln Sport (via John Christodoulou at

"I am interested by Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. Today, these clubs are over Newcastle," Ben Arfa told BeIn Sport.

"During the summer, there was contact with Chelsea. But I wanted to stay in Newcastle.

"Whoever tasted England, it's hard to go elsewhere. There is everything to be happy."

While this potential deal is clearly still in the early stages, it's a little frightening to think what Arsenal's already stacked midfield would look like with someone as talented as Ben Arfa running the sideline.

In 13 Premier League games so far this season, the Frenchman has tallied three goals, two assists and an average match rating of 7.29. 

That's better than all but two current Gunners. 


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