Arsenal Henry loan deal in doubt, Ba drops Gunners hint
Meanwhile, Gunners prepare to show the door to Chamakh, Arshavin, Djourou and Squillaci
ARSENAL FANS looking forward to getting reacquainted with Thierry Henry in the new year may be disappointed after his current club New York Red Bulls cast doubt on the chances of a loan deal with the Gunners.
The American club's 'global advisor' Gerard Houllier, the former Liverpool and Aston Villa manager, said he expected the ageing striker to rest up over Christmas and spend time with his new son, after he became a father again in August.
According to Goal.com Houllier told Canal Plus TV station in France that he was bemused by the reports linking the striker to an Emirates return as he had not been contacted. "I find it strange what we hear in the media," he said. "If Arsene needed him, he would have called me or [sporting director] Andy Roxburgh, but this is not the case."
However, there is some good news as Newcastle star Demba Ba has given the clearest indication yet that he wants to swap St James Park for the Emirates. The Daily Mail reports that the Senegal striker "has opened the door to a move to Arsenal" during the course of a Sunday evening interview with Canal Plus the same French broadcaster that put the kibosh on Henry's move.
Asked if he was aware of recent stories in the press linking him with a move to the Gunners, Ba replied: "I have nothing to say about those speculations... the media know Arsenal need another striker and they know about my release clause. They need to make their own mind up about it."
Ba signed a new contract with Newcastle in 2011 which contained a £7.5m release clause and though the Magpies want him to commit to the club, Ba seems to have other ideas. "Arsenal are one of those teams who make you dream," he told Canal Plus.
There is even more good news for Gooners with the Daily Telegraph's claim that Marouane Chamakh will join West Ham on loan for the rest of the season. The paper says Hammers boss Sam Allardyce met with Chamakh's agent Pierre Frelot on Friday night and "expects the green light" from Arsenal to sign the misfiring Morocco marksman.
With Andy Carroll ruled out with injury until the end of February, Allardyce sees Chamakh as the ideal replacement – presumably because, like the England frontman, Chamakh can't hit a barn door at six paces.
The Telegraph adds that Chamakh will be one of a raft of Arsenal rejects to be shown the door in the New Year, with Andrei Arshavin, Johan Djourou and Sebastien Squillaci also likely to be sent on their way - though the chances of any club taking on Squillaci are about as good as Gervinho finding the net from four yards.
But if those reports sound unlikely then what about the claim that Inter Milan are set to make a move for Chamakh. It might sound preposterous but that's what Metro would have you believe.
Still with Arsenal and The People claims that Arsene Wenger is lining up a move for Toulouse star Moussa Sissoko in a couple of weeks' time. Apparently the 23-year-old midfielder has turned up his nose at a new deal offered by the French club and that's led to speculation he could be about to sign for the Gunners in an £8m deal.
The People says Wenger is keen to add "bite to his midfield" and he believes the French international is the right man for the job.
Goal.com reports that Manchester City are poised to make a move for Ezequiel Cirigliano in the New Year. The Sky Blues have been chasing the 20-year-old River Plate star for months and it seems their determination could be about to pay off.
The Buenos Aires outfit apparently wish to cash in on the defensive midfielder and River Plate president Daniel Passarella is scheduled to arrive in Manchester "over the coming days" to discuss terms with City. The youngster is one of the most highly-regarded players in Argentina and though Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United have been linked with him, it's City who are at the front of the queue.
Finally, The Star says that Chelsea have lined up a replacement for Frank Lampard, and it's Roma ace Miralem Pjanic. Trouble is, PSG also like the look of the 22-year-old and a battle is looming in the New Year between the two money-mad clubs.
With Lampard unlikely to be given a fresh deal when his existing contract expires at the end of the season, Chelsea are scouting out new talent and they believe the Bosnian midfielder has what it takes to make a go of it at the Bridge. Though Pjanic is contracted to Roma until 2015, the Star says a £12m offer from either Chelsea or PSG would be enough for Roma to do business.