Arsenal may have five new targets after World Cup including Thuram

Arteta comments on Jesus' injury after Arsenal beat Lyon

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Now that the World Cup has finally drawn to a conclusion, clubs and players can focus again on the resumption of Premier League football ahead of the upcoming fixtures on Boxing Day. But the end of the tournament is also the first sign that managers need to finalise their plans for the January transfer window – and Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta could be set for a busy month.

The Gunners are said to be targeting a central midfielder and a winger after missing out on those signings during a successful £120million summer spend, with five new faces arriving at the Emirates Stadium. Arteta knows that strengthening his squad is almost a requirement if he wants to keep his side on track for a title challenge, as they currently lead Manchester City at the top by five points.

And the Spaniard will be even more eager to bring in reinforcements after being dealt a double injury blow with Gabriel Jesus and Reiss Nelson both ruled out for lengthy spells, hinting they already have a plan in place when the January transfer window opens.

But with the World Cup throwing new targets into the equation after some impressive individual performances in Qatar, the 40-year-old may be willing to alter his targets by adding some new faces to his transfer shortlist. Express Sport looks at five players who may fit the mould…

Marcus Thuram

Arteta will have to do without Jesus for at least three months after the Brazilian underwent surgery to fix an issue with his knee, which caused him to withdraw from Brazil’s World Cup squad. And with only Eddie Nketiah available to deputise, the Arsenal boss is reportedly eyeing a cut-price move for Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram.

The 25-year-old made a number of appearances from the bench for France at the World Cup and came on for Olivier Giroud in the final before Argentina won on penalties. He has scored 10 goals in only 15 Bundesliga appearances so far this season but with his contract expiring in the summer, the Gunners could launch a move in January at a low price.

Gladbach would be reluctant to lose their top scorer mid-season but a fee of around £10.4m (€12m) would be enough to clinch his signature, according to Bild, and that would represent a bargain signing given his status in the game.

Mykhaylo Mudryk

Despite Shakhtar Donetsk’s warning that signing Mudryk could cost the club £86m in January, Arsenal are moving ahead with their plans to negotiate with the Ukrainian and snap up one of Europe’s talents.

Mudryk has excelled in the Champions League this season for the crisis-hit club, who value Mudryk in the same bracket as Kylian Mbappe and Jack Grealish. But such a figure would be unrealistic given his relative lack of experience and Shakhtar’s need for funds after being affected by the war in the region.

The Evening Standard report the club have opened talks with Shakhtar regarding a switch for the 21-year-old winger, who would fulfil Arsenal’s profile of signing exciting talents that are nearly ready for first-team football and provide an adequate replacement for the injured Nelson.

Piero Hincapie

The 20-year-old enjoyed a standout group stage campaign with Ecuador before the South American nation were narrowly knocked out by Senegal and his performances have caught the eye. 

The Sun claim that, along with London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham, Arsenal are thought to be monitoring the Bayer Leverkusen defender ahead of a January move. His versatility would make him a key defensive addition as he can play either as a centre-back or full-back, but Leverkusen are keen to hold onto him.

Hincapie is wanted by clubs in Italy too, with AC Milan, Inter and Juventus all keeping a close eye on his availability. Valued at around £35m, he would offer a long-term option for Arteta to utilise within his squad amid injury concerns over Kieran Tierney.

Jesper Lindstrom

Arsenal could turn their attentions elsewhere if they fail to agree a fee for Mudryk and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Lindstrom end up at the Emirates as a cheaper alternative. The 22-year-old has already flirted with a possible transfer to north London after confessing he was left flattered by their interest.

“It’s a huge confidence boost. It is one of the biggest things as a footballer, so of course I am insanely happy,” Lindstrom is quoted telling Danish outlet Tipsbladet.

He added: “It is always great to play in the biggest league in the world, but whether Arsenal suits me is difficult to say. Right now I’m in a good place in Frankfurt. But it’s great that there are clubs like them that keep an eye on me. It may well be that something has to happen at some point, but right now I’m fine.”

Frankfurt do not tend to sell their best players on the cheap as reflected by the £95m recouped from the sales of Luka Jovic and Sebastien Haller in 2019. But Lindstrom, who arrived from Brondby in 2021, could be sold on if the club receive a bid in the region of £17m, according to Calciomercato.

Yunus Musah

Arsenal are one of the clubs considering a move for Musah which could see them re-sign their former academy player. The American midfielder has only just turned 20 but shone for the USA in Qatar.

He spent seven years in the Arsenal academy between 2012 and 2019 and, while he never made a first-team appearance for the club before joining Spanish side Valencia, his potential was never under question. Chelsea and Liverpool have also been tipped to rival Arsenal for his signature, but Musah has hinted he would welcome a return to the Emirates.

“You never know,” Musah said in November, when asked about a return. “I had a great time at Arsenal developing there, I still have friends there, the coaches were great, being an Arsenal player in general is great.

“I loved playing for Arsenal. I’ve nothing against the club and if one day it turns out to be that it’s time to go back then it’s possible. For now, I’m really happy at Valencia and I’m looking forward to carrying this season on in the same way we’re doing now.”

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