Arsene Wenger would not be drawn on speculation linking Arsenal with a move for Monaco striker Radamel Falcao.
Various reports across Europe have stated that the Colombian hitman may or may not be on his way to north London before the transfer window shuts on 1 September.
Italian website Calciomercato this morning reported that Falcao would be joining Spanish giants Real Madrid on loan, unable to do a permanent deal this summer because of Uefa’s financial fair play rules.
However, Spanish radio station Cadena COPE report that it was in fact Monaco who offered the unhappy striker to the European Champions, an offer that was promptly rejected by Real.
How Arsenal could replace Olivier Giroud
How Arsenal could replace Olivier Giroud
1/9 Wilfried Bony
The Swansea striker had an impressive first season in Wales scoring 16 goals in the Premier League and 25 in all competitions. He has the strength and pace to operate as a lone striker and is technically good enough to fit in at Arsenal. he is believed to want a move to a bigger club and Swansea previously said they wouldn't stand in his way, with an offer of around £16m reported to be enough.
2/9 Radamel Falcao
The best attainable No 9 in European football, Radamel Falcao has been a target for Real Madrid all summer and Arsenal could beat them to the Monaco player’s signature. Although he missed most of the year – and the World Cup finals – with a knee ligament injury, Arsenal could sign the Colombian on loan, though they would not get much change from £20m in that deal.
3/9 Marco Reus
The German's release clause is a well known staple of this transfer window - Reus is available for a cut-price £20m next year. This could mean the versatile young star is available for a bit more now, with Borussia Dortmund perhaps keen to cash in. However recent history shows they are happy to keep their players to be stronger now. Robert Lewandowski stayed an extra season before moving on a free to Bayern Munich this summer.
4/9 Edinson Cavani
The Uruguayan was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal or Chelsea earlier this summer and his agent even said Cavani was interested in coming to England. He was reported to be unhappy at playing second fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovic but those fears seemed to have been allayed. He is truly world class and scored 25 goals last season, but he will not be cheap and with Giroud expected to be out before the turn of the year it may be a bit of a stretch to have both of these men in the squad.
5/9 Julian Draxler
Julian Draxler was the talk of the town in January when Arsenal made a reported £37m bid for the German. That mammoth bid, Draxler admitted, went to the 20-year-old's head and his form dipped - he scored just six goals in all competitions last year. But the youngster is still clearly talented and should find his form again, while it will not take anywhere near that previous price to seal a deal this time.
6/9 Theo Walcott
Since Arsene Wenger first started playing Theo Walcott on the right pundits have opined that he will eventually move back into a central role. Now 25, no such move has taken place. Walcott had a great year in 2012-13 scoring 21 goals in all competitions but managed less than 20 appearances last term. He is due back in mid-September and could, finally, see a role as Arsenal's main man.
7/9 Lukas Podolski
The popular German has been linked with a move to either Juventus or back to Germany but Arsene Wenger may now decide to put that move on hold. He is an excellent finisher and has a good scoring record in his two years at the club, with 28 goals from 69 matches. However, when he has played through the middle he has neither the pace nor the strength to really operate as a lone striker.
8/9 Alexis Sanchez
Impressed for Barcelona when played as a 'false 9' last season, Sanchez was terrible at Goodison Park in a similar position and was hauled off after 45 minutes. It will take time for the little Chilean to get used to the physicality of the Premier League, but he has the technical ability to succeed. However, a role as a lone striker may be too much in the early stages of his Arsneal career - he should be given more time to settle in.
9/9 Yaya Sanogo
Yet to score a goal for the club in 15 senior matches, Sanogo managed to bag four in a pre-season friendly against Monaco. The youngster is a gifted athlete but very raw technically, and it would be a mistake for Wenger to consider him adequate cover for Giroud.
When asked at his press conference Arsene Wenger said he would be active in the transfer market until the last but did not mention Falcao.
“Once again all the negotiations have to be as secret as possible and if we sign somebody, even if we sign Falcao, you will be informed.”
Despite Wenger’s admission the rumour has continued in a spin all afternoon, with Falcao ‘following’ Arsenal’s Joel Campbell on Twitter and then a fake BBC account duping many on the social networking site.
The Falcao rumous have ramped up since Olivier Giroud was ruled out until at least December with injury but Arsene Wenger pointed to the players in his squad as possible replacements for the French striker.
"We have Yaya Sanogo, we have Alexis Sanchez, we have Theo Walcott, we have Lukas Podolski," he added.
But Wenger did say he would be active in the window if the right player came along.
"I will actively be involved on deadline day. I will be on alert until the last minute."
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