Arsenal Mulumbu hint, but Pato and Morata off the radar
West Brom's Congolese midfielder, wanted by the Gunners, says he is ready for the top four
GOOD and bad news this morning for Gooners. First, the good, and a report in the Evening Standard that reveals West Brom midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu is thinking of accepting the advances of Arsenal. As we reported last month, the Premier League leaders have been tailing the 26-year-old Congolese cracker for months, and Mulumbu is now likely to make the move to the Emirates in the New Year.
"I've had approaches from Arsenal," Mulumbu is quoted as saying, adding that he "could leave this winter [because] this is the right time for me to set my sights higher. I'm ready to join a top-four club."
Mulumbu arrived at the Hawthorns in 2009 from Paris Saint-Germain and has recently been openly critical of the Baggies, claiming "we are not mature enough". If it's maturity Mulumbu wants then Arsenal seems the logical choice, give or take the odd hissy fit over shirt sleeves and the occasional smashed door.
The bad news for the Gunners is that there is plenty of bad news. First up and Arsene Wenger has poured cold water on the two hottest rumours at the Emirates, which linked Arsenal to Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato, and Real Madrid prospect Alvaro Morata.
According to the Daily Mirror, and anyone else at the Arsenal press conference ahead of the game against Hull on Wednesday, Wenger dismissed claims the club had made an offer for Pato and that they were trying to bring Morata to London on loan for the second half of the season.
Next there is Talksport and its claim that Bayern Munich star David Alaba has snubbed Arsenal and committed himself to the European champions. The 21-year-old Austrian ace, comfortable either in midfield or on the wing, caught the eye of Arsene Wenger a couple of seasons ago, and it was rumoured that a January offer was in the pipeline. But Bayern have plugged the pipe with a new contract that will keep Alaba at Munich until 2018. "I am very, very happy," the youngster told Bayern's website. "I am lucky that everything is now fixed and that I can play for this club until at least 2018."
Thirdly, the Daily Telegraph says that Manuel Pellegrini has ended Arsenal's hopes of signing Edin Dzeko next month after ruling out the Manchester City hitman's exit. Rumours had been rife that the Gunners would offer the Sky Blues £25m for the former Wolfsburg forward, who has played second fiddle to Alvaro Negredo under Pellegrini this season. Dzeko's last Premier League start was against Aston Villa in September but Pellegrini has insisted his Bosnian striker won't be offloaded to Arsenal in January. "No, that is not the case," he told the Telegraph. "It is very important for this club to have a good squad because we have a lot of games to play from now until April and, if we want to win trophies, we need important players. Maybe at the moment he is not playing as much as he would like, but he remains an important part of the squad."
Over in Portugal it seems that the queue of suitors lining up to woo Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho is growing longer by the day. Local rag A Bola claims that Arsenal are the latest club to send scouts to watch the young midfielder in action, taking their place alongside representatives from Man United and QPR. Also in attendance for the game against Pacos de Fereira were PSV Eindhoven, Ajax, Feyenoord, Villarreal, Bayer Leverkusen and Cologne, claims the paper.
The 20-year-old is obviously a very popular young man, but any transfer could be troublesome. Sporting apparently only own 60 per cent of his rights, while there is a release clause of €45m in his contract. Still, it should make for an interesting January.
Finally, Metro claims that Bayern Munich have joined the race to sign Chelsea defender David Luiz. Game time has been hard to come by this season for Luiz, who joined the Blues from Benfica in January 2011, and he's made just 11 appearances all season as Jose Mourinho plumps for John Terry and Gary Cahill at the heart of his defence. Metro says that Luiz has yet to make up his mind but with the World Cup only six months away, he may decide to move to Bayern in January so he can boost his chances of making Brazil's World Cup squad. ·