Arsenal scouting Celtic's Victor Wanyama with summer move in mind
Published 13/02/2013 | 09:03
Arsenal sent a scout to Parkhead on last night to watch Celtic’s Victor Wanyama, with Arsène Wenger having identified the holding midfield as a transfer priority this summer.
Wenger failed with a deadline bid for Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue but is also actively watching other targets and requested a report on Wanyama from Tuesday night’s Champions League match against Juventus.
Wanyama became the first Kenyan to appear in the Scottish Premier League when he joined Celtic in 2011 and has particularly impressed this season during the club’s progress to the last 16 of the Champions League.
After the summer sale of Alex Song to Barcelona, Wenger is mindful of having become over reliant on Mikel Arteta in the holding role although he has been encouraged by Aaron Ramsey’s recent performances there.
A striker and a right-back are the other priorities this summer, particularly with Bacary Sagna’s increasingly uncertain future.
One player who intends to stay, however, is third choice left-back Andre Santos. The Brazilian has joined Gremio on loan until the end of the season but, even after the January acquisition of Nacho Monreal, is keep to fight for his place. Santos’s contract runs until 2015.
Sebastian Squillaci and Andrei Arshavin fall into that category but will finally be out of contract this summer. Nicklas Bendtner, Marouane Chamakh, Johan Djourou and Park Chu-Young, however, will return from various loans spells around Europe.
“The idea is to go there, play well and be able to come back strong,” said Santos. “Do I have a future at the club? For sure. This is a loan deal and after this season we will see where everything stands. I always wanted to stay here until the end of my contract.”
Of Monreal’s arrival, Santos said: “This was a last-minute deal and a clear message to me that I would not start for the rest of the season.”
Santos also reiterated his apology to the Arsenal fans for swapping shirts with Robin van Persie at half-time of the defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
“You guys have a different culture than me and it is still very hard to understand why people hold this grudge over me,” said Santos. “The relationship was very good until the incident with Van Persie. I have apologised and moved on. I have all my respect to the fans of Arsenal. Hopefully soon I will be back and giving them many happiness.”
By Jeremy Wilson, Telegraph.co.uk