Having played down the prospect of a move for Fulham’s Dimitar Berbatov yesterday, Arsene Wenger also dismissed speculation linking Arsenal with a January move for Atletico Madrid’s in-form striker Diego Costa.
Pointing out the Brazilian-born attacker would cost a far bigger fee than the often quoted £32 million buyout clause, Wenger admitted that he was focused on more realistic targets during the now open transfer window.
“What, £145m?!” joked the boss when asked if 25-year-old Costa was a likely recruit in the coming weeks.
He has a point. When you consider Atletico, under the stewardship of Gilles Grimandi’s mate Diego Simeone, are level on points with table-topping Barcelona it’s pretty obvious they aren’t going to get shot of their main man just for a few quid in the bank when they could end an 18-year wait for a La Liga title.
Admitting that he does need a new attacker if Nicklas Bendtner is ruled out for more than three weeks, Wenger also weighed up the quandary of going for someone who offers value in the short-term against picking up a long-term gem.
“Is it for short term or a stop-gap? Ideally, you want a longer solution. But a longer solution looks much more difficult to find in January than a short gap.
“You can find a solution somewhere – a club that has financial trouble and wants to get rid of a big contract for five or six months.
“But to find in January exactly the player who will be tomorrow’s star on the longer term is much more difficult.”
With one two rumours killed off, two new names came to the fore overnight with Juventus’ Mirko Vucinic and Bayern’s Mario Mandzukic the latest to be linked with a move to the Emirates.
Arseblog News suspects they’ll be dismissed out of hand next week.