Arsene Wenger is reportedly interested in bringing Juventus’s Mirko Vucinic to the Emirates on loan, despite publicly denying any particular interest in the Montenegrin striker.
Wenger is looking to strengthen Arsenal’s strike-force, with Theo Walcott’s season-ending injury having piled further pressure on Olivier Giroud and back-up forward Nicklas Bendtner.
But Wenger insisted on Saturday night that he was not “especially interested” in Vucinic, even though his pursuit of Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata has foundered and the Gunners’ chief transfer negotiator Dick Law has been in touch with the Serie A club.
“We are looking at potential possibilities to get someone in but we are not especially interested in Vucinic,” he said.
“I would love to announce to you something that would excite you but I don’t have the opportunity to do so.”
Arsenal have also been linked with January moves for Porto’s Jackson Martinez and Bayern Munich’s Mario Mandzukic.
But Wenger is understood to be keen to conserve his cash for summer targets including Schalke’s Julian Draxler and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa, and would prefer to use loan signings to bolster his squad this window.
That could be one potential stumbling-block to the Vucinic move. The striker would be keen on a permanent transfer, having found his opportunities limited in Turin behind the in-form duo of Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez.
Juventus would also prefer to secure a permanent deal for around £10m, with the club keen to reinvest the money in PSG’s Jeremy Menez or Manchester United’s Nani, according to reports in the Italian press.
In a further complication, Vucinic’s agent Alessandro Lucci also represents Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado, who is a target for both Arsenal and Juventus.
Lucci has said that his client is happy in Florence, and a move for the £30m-rated winger this month would certainly be an unusual extravagance on Wenger’s part. Nevertheless, Arsenal have been tracking the Colombian closely, and have already sent Law to watch him this season.
Italian outlet Sportmediaset reports that Lucci will fly to London early this week to hold talks with the Gunners, and although a deal for Vucinic remains the “warmest track”, Cuadrado will also be a subject of the discussions.
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