Liverpool legend reveals club ‘would love to sign’ Arsenal star

Theo Walcott‘s contract talks with Arsenal have been halted until the end of the season, prompting suggestions of a move away from the club and former Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher has revealed that Walcott would be a welcome addition to Brendan Rodgers’ side.

Walcott, who has been at Arsenal since 2006, is struggling to get into the current side and has made just eight league appearances this season.

His absence from the squad has been mainly due to the injury he suffered back in early January last year, which kept him out until October. Walcott then suffered a further setback in November 2014, with a groin strain keeping him out for a month.

Since his return to fitness Walcott has made just six appearances and Jamie Carragher believes Arsenal’s quality attacking options haven’t helped Walcott.

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“He’s a good player but is struggling to get into the Arsenal team with their top attacking players,” Carragher said in his weekly column for Sky Sports.

“If he was available then I’m sure any Liverpool fan, player or manager would love to see him at the club.”

Walcott’s Arsenal career has been plagued with injuries and his best run in the squad was arguably back in the 2012/13 season, where he made 32 Premier League appearances, scoring 14 goals.

If he can stay injury-free he is capable of producing that high quality form on a consistent basis but whether that is to be with Arsenal has not yet been confirmed.

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Arsenal look to bolster defence with double raid on Spain – report

Arsenal are set to bolster their defence before the end of the transfer window and are reportedly lining up moves for Liga BBVA stars Gabriel Paulista and Nicolas Otamendi.

Villarreal defender Paulista has confirmed he is in contact with Arsenal about joining the club this month.

The 24-year-old Brazilian has been a mainstay in the Villarreal defence this season and he has helped the club go unbeaten since they were defeated by Valencia at the start of November.

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“Whether I go to Arsenal or stay at Villarreal, I won’t lose my head,” Paulista said this weekend. “I’m very calm. My head is at Villarreal and I’m very focused.

“My agent is working on making sure I continue being calm. Playing in the Premier League is one of my dreams.”

Villarreal are demanding the release clause in his contract, which stands at €20 million, before a move will be sanctioned by the club.

But Arsenal are reportedly willing to loan Joel Campbell to the Yellow Submarines as part of any deal, with the Costa Rican international growing frustrated at being a bit-part player following a very impressive World Cup in Brazil.

Another defensive target Arsenal are looking at is Nicolas Otamendi – an Argentine plying his trade at Valencia who can play at centre-back as well as at right-back.

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Otamendi joined up with the Liga BBVA side in July 2014 and has has impressed at The Mestalla for Nuno Santo’s side as they push for the final UEFA Champions League place available in the league.

Otamendi, who made a name for himself in Portugal with FC Porto, has also been interesting Manchester United and so Valencia would demand a much bigger fee than the €12 million they paid Porto for his signature last summer.

It would seem the Gunners are firmly following up with their interest in defensive targets as they are in desperate need of cover at the back with Mathieu Debuchy ruled out for 3 months, and only have three firm options at centre-back in Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Callum Chambers.

Should Arsenal look to sign both Gabriel Paulista and Nicolas Otamendi, or do they only need one?

Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski set for Serie A switch in search for football

Despite Arsene Wenger’s admission that unsettled Germany international Lukas Podolski is not for sale, he continues to attract interest from abroad, and a loan move to Italy’s Serie A with Inter Milan is reportedly on the cards.

Having slipped down the pecking order at Arsenal behind the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mesut Ozil, Danny Welbeck and Santi Cazorla, Podolski is being forced to look elsewhere if he is to see regular action.

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As well as being linked to Italian clubs AS Roma and Inter Milan, the World Cup winner was also linked with a move back to his first club FC Koln in Germany, where he has excelled in the past.

He needs to play to ensure that he continued to be a part of the German National Team. And Joachim Low has reminded Podolski that he needs to play if he is to figure in his plans for Euro 2016 qualification.

Inter Milan are supposedly keen to add the Polish-born German winger to their attacking ranks on a loan deal with some Italian reports suggesting a deal is close to completion.

Roma are another club interested, with the Rome-based club looking for cover for former Arsenal winger Gervinho – who will be playing for Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup Of Nations for the first part of 2015.

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With 121 international caps so far and the hope for many more, Podolski may decide to move club to ensure he see’s regular first-team action in Joachim Low’s set-up for the Euro 2016 qualifiers with Germany.

Arsene Wenger may want to keep Podolski but he hasn’t started a Premier League game through the first half of the current campaign and with more players returning from injury at Arsenal, the German needs to look elsewhere if he is to play regularly.

Would Lukas Podolski be a loss for Arsenal if he leaves in January?

Arsenal reignite interest in Portugal international

Arsene Wenger has made a defensive midfielder his top priority for Arsenal in the January transfer window. Still top of his wish list is Portugal and Sporting Lisbon defensive midfielder William Carvalho, according to the Daily Mail.

Arsenal reportedly had bids knocked back for the Angolan-born midfielder in the summer. But now it seems Wenger is willing to sanction the move and test Sporting Lisbon’s officials with a £20 million bid.

Having monitored the 22-year-old in the summer, he showed his defensive qualities and versatility by playing centre-back for Portugal at the World Cup in Brazil for two of the three group stage games.

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Sporting Lisbon are already out of the Champions League having been knocked out before Christmas and currently lingering outside of the Champions League places for next term in the Primeira Liga, so it could be the perfect time for Sporting Lisbon to cash in on one of their biggest assets.

Back in October Carvalho declared his ambitions to move to one of the best leagues in the world and said that he expected the move to happen “sooner rather than later”.

The powerful midfielder is still only 22 and could prove a huge boost for Arsenal and their defensive woes as they look to shore up the midfield. With a rumoured £20 million budget at Arsene’s disposal the move could happen early in the transfer window.

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One stumbling block could be that he won’t be able to play in the Champions League for Arsenal were he to move, as he has already played for Sporting Lisbon in the group stages this year.

Wenger is keen to bring in a solid midfielder to help them both in the Premier League, and the Champions League but Carvalho would not be able to help on the European front until next season if he is brought in.

Other options Arsenal have been looking at is Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira, Sevilla’s Grzegorz Krychowiak and Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko – who recently declared his love for his idol, former Gunner Patrick Vieira.

Would William Carvalho be a good signing for Arsenal in January?