Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is to turn his attention to Spartak Moscow midfielder Kim Kallstrom, sources have told ESPN FC, after confirming that his bid to sign Schalke attacker Julian Draxler this month is over.
Draxler, 20, has been linked with a move to the Gunners throughout the January transfer window, with recent reports suggesting a deal for the Germany international was close to being completed.
However, Wenger has suggested that the talk of Draxler moving to North London is simply mere speculation
“The Draxler situation has been created by the newspapers, not by me,” Wenger said. “You ask me about that situation and I say nothing is happening on that front. He will stay at Schalke.”
Wenger did say, though, that he is hopeful of signing an additional midfielder in the final hours of the transfer window, with Kallstrom, 31, believed to be the Frenchman’s latest target.
The Sweden international, who won three Ligue 1 titles at Lyon before moving to Spartak in 2012, could appeal to Wenger as he would be able to play in the Champions League, having only featured in the Europa League playoff round earlier this season.
“It is 80-20 [percent in favour] of us bringing someone in today. We are open-minded and active, but there will be no anti-climax from me if we don’t do it,” Wenger said.
“At the moment, we need more midfielders. We are looking at the opportunities. We are looking to try and bring at least one body in because we are a bit hit now by the red card of [Mathieu] Flamini, the setback of [Aaron] Ramsey, the fact that [Jack] Wilshere is not available. In an area where we had a lot of players, suddenly we are a bit short.”
Wenger conceded he would have preferred to have concluded all of his transfer business before Friday, while suggesting once again that the January window is not good for the game.
“In a perfect world [we would have signed players now], but that doesn’t exist,” he said. “All the transfer windows are like this -- 80 percent activity on the last day, it was always like that. If you want my signature, I would scrap the transfer window with ease.
“This is a bit of a distraction from the competition. What matters is the competition on the pitch. I understand everyone is interested who is going where, but that is not real football.
“The results are not made by the transfer market. They are made by the performances on the football pitch. We have shown we are competitive, but we are a bit short now and we have to do something.”
Wenger went on to confirm he would also consider signing a striker if “something interesting” came up, but it seems his focus has now switched to bolstering his midfield resources.