Arsenal eyeing Aurier and Diamé swoop, Tomkins to Toon?
Arsenal seem to have prioritised extending Theo Walcott’s contract over bringing in new talent at the Emirates this month. But with fans desperately craving new blood, and endless rumours of potential signings, a couple of late additions can’t be ruled out before the transfer window shuts. But could those signings be Toulouse defender Serge Aurier or West Ham’s dominant midfielder Mohamed Diamé (pictured)? And are Newcastle set to pursue a move for West Ham centre-half James Tomkins? The Life’s a Pitch team rate the chances of these deals going through.
With talk of Bacary Sagna failing to agree a new contract at Arsenal and potentially leaving in the summer, the Guardian’s Dominic Fifield can see why Ivorian right-back Aurier, 20, has been linked with the Gunners. “Aurier has done well at Toulouse, he’s had the scouts there. But you do wonder: if they went out and bought him from Toulouse, where would that leave Carl Jenkinson exactly? I would think that if they signed Aurier it would be very much as a back-up player, one for the future. I’d give [this rumour] five or six out of 10 on the basis that they’d stick with Jenkinson as the main man to come through.”
The People’s Janine Self is even more sceptical that Arsène Wenger will make a move for Diamé to shore up his midfield. “Diamé has been around for a few years now at Wigan and West Ham. And yes, he’s made a great start at West Ham, but Wenger knows all about him and I’m not entirely sure that Arsenal need another midfielder at the moment. I think they’ve got priorities in other directions. I would say that is about a three out of 10.”
The Hammers would be loth to lose Diamé, such has been his impact since arriving last summer. Tomkins, 23, is another key player for them, says Janine’s colleague at the People, Dave Kidd, which could be a problem for a Newcastle squad in clear need of reinforcements and who have also been linked with Montpellier’s Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
“There has definitely been a long-term interest from Newcastle in Tomkins,” Dave explains. “They really need a central defender there – even before Fabricio Coloccini’s uncertainties they were looking to get a central defender in as a priority. So the interest is very real. I’m not so sure if West Ham would want to get rid of him. The interest is 10 out of 10; whether it’s going to happen in January is more like a four out of 10.”
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