Arsenal started the New Year with defeat at home to Man City – but there are reasons to be cheerful in North London.
The Gunners have shown a marked improvement under Mikel Arteta this season and their summer acquisitions have contributed heavily to their mini revival.
Arteta is still in the process of overhauling his squad and still feels there is work to be done over the next transfer windows.
The January market offers him another opportunity to strengthen his squad, and transfer chief Edu is busy at work behind the scenes to try and bolster Arteta’s options, while also clearing out some of the deadwood.
Here Mirror Football has rounded up the latest Arsenal transfer rumours and updates from around the Emirates.
Villa duo eyed
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Arsenal are reportedly considering a move for Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz in January, reports The Sun.
The Brazilian is on Mikel Arteta’s shortlist of potential new additions as he looks to shore up his midfield.
Gunners legend Ian Wright has already offered his view on the 23-year-old, previously describing him as “one of the best midfield players in the Premier League. He is so under-rated.”
The same publication also suggests that forward Ollie Watkins could well be on his way out of Villa Park this month, with Arsenal long-term admirers.
Watkins was absent for Villa’s clash at Brentford on Sunday and manager Steven Gerrard was coy on the reasons behind his omission from the squad.
“I’m not sure I’m in a position to give you the details on it, but we have got a mixture of covid and injury problems at the moment,” Gerrard replied.
Newcastle make contact over Aubameyang
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be offered a swift route out of his recent Arsenal nightmare, providing he is prepared to take the trip north to St James’ Park.
The 20-year-old is out of favour under boss Arteta after his recent disciplinary breach and was again left out of the matchday squad for the visit of Man City on New Year’s Day.
And Mirror Football can exclusively reveal that Newcastle are keen on signing Aubamayeng on an initial loan deal this month with a view to making the move permanent in the summer.
Newcastle have a wealth of riches now at their disposal following their recent takeover, so the £20m price tag for Aubameyang should not be a problem for the new owners on Tyneside.
Coutinho deadline set
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Barcelona are ready to play hardball with Arsenal over the transfer of Philippe Coutinho by setting a deadline for the Gunners to meet their demands.
The Spanish club are desperate to offload the former Liverpool midfielder, who has been a flop since his mega-money move from Anfield four years ago.
Arsenal are among a host of clubs interested in signing Coutinho, but have asked to take him on a six-month loan deal with an obligation to buy him in the summer for a fee of £5m plus add-ons.
As revealed by Mirror Football, Barcelona would rather sell the player now for a slightly higher fee of £7.5m, and have told Arsenal to make a final decision by Wednesday.
Newcastle and Leicester are also keeping tabs on Coutinho’s situation.