Arsenal still maintain hopes of signing Álvaro Morata from Real Madrid on a loan until the end of the season, even though the Spanish club have insisted that there will be nobody leaving during the January transfer window.
The Gunners have been linked with a move for both Morata and his striking teammate Karim Benzema in the past, although Carlo Ancelotti has made it clear that he does not want to lose either striker. Arsenal sit atop of the Premier League heading into 2014, although many have claimed that they need a quality forward to maintain their push for the title, and the news earlier today that Olivier Giroud will miss the visit of Cardiff on New Year’s Day has added more weight to the argument that an addition is needed.
Morata currently plays second fiddle to the Frenchman, hence the belief from Arsene Wenger that he secure the services of the 21-year-old, but an exit would leave Real short on their own options as they attempt to close down the five-point gap to rivals Barcelona at the top of La Liga.
The north London side have also been rumoured with a move for Diego Costa after reportedly sending scouts to watch the Brazilian-born Spaniard, although his current club Atletico Madrid have already sent out a warning fending off any interest by claiming Costa does not want to leave the club.
Having signed a new contract earlier this year, Costa’s release fee is believed to have increased to £32m, and having spent £42.5m on Mesut Özil in the summer, it would be highly unusual to see the Gunners make another big money offer in the same season.
The one chance they could have of landing Morata until the summer would be if Real land long-time target Luis Suarez, although the in-form Uruguayan has just signed a new contract with Liverpool that is said to hold a staggering £100m release fee for club’s outside of England – a figure that would smash the current world transfer record set by Gareth Bale’s £86m move to Real Madrid this year.
Either Nicklas Bendtner or Lukas Podolski will lead the line at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow, and should Wenger fail to add a new striker in January, he will block any offer for the Danish international having already called off a move to Crystal Palace on transfer deadline day in September.
That would mean the 25-year-old would be available on a free transfer at the end of the season should he not sign a new contract, but he did show some signs of improvement when he opened the scoring in last month’s win over Hull City which represented his one and only Premier League start this season.