Arsenal handed major £50m midfielder transfer boost as Newcastle United hit with brutal snub
All the latest Premier League transfer rumours as Arsenal get ready for a January spending spree.
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Arsenal may have spent around £170m on midfielders this summer, but that hasn't stopped them from shopping around for a new signing in January, with concerns over both depth and the form of Kai Havertz - and the big news from Football Insider is that the board have now given permission to Mikel Arteta for him to spend a hefty £50m in the winter transfer window on a new addition.
The question now is who they buy - Real Sociedad's Martín Zubimendi and Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz have both come up in the gossip columns quite a lot, as has Benfica's brilliant youngster João Neves, although the Portuguese youngster would blow that budget to pieces. Still, anyone will be an improvement on the ghost of Jorginho, who has recently been seen haunting Declan Rice in the Arsenal midfield.
The 3AM Verdict: If we assume Neves is simply way too expensive, then the choice between Zubimendi and Luiz basically comes down to what Arteta wants - Zumbimendi is an excellent defensive player who would be great in a double pivot, while Luiz is a more attacking, all-action sort of midfielder who would operate further up the field. The direction that the Gunners go will tell us a lot about how Arteta thinks his team work best.
Newcastle snubbed by Ederson
Look, let's get the confession out of the way early here - no, not that Ederson. Sorry. But now you're here, go and click on one of those tempting little adverts floating around the page. Go on... help feed some hungry sports journalists this Christmas.
Anyway... the Ederson in question here is a 24-year-old midfielder for Atalanta in Serie A who has apparently been attracting the attentions of Barcelona recently, but a report in Sport Witness also mentions claims that Newcastle United had tried to sign him but received "a sharp no." Will Eddie Howe go back in for the Brazilian?
The 3AM Verdict: This particular Ederson is box-to-box midfielder who's stats really pop off the page - he's got great numbers for tackles, ball carries, passes, and in fact practically everything from one box to the other, so it's no wonder that Howe was interested in adding him to his hard-running midfield at St. James' Park. Whether Newcastle will try again is, however, unclear.
Wolves back in for soap opera star
Lastly for today, we have some fresh updates on Wolves' seemingly endless pursuit of Boulaye Dia, the Salernitana striker who was due to move to Molineux before his summer transfer collapsed at the eleventh hour in a scenario that was described as a "soap opera." Sport Witness have picked up a few mutterings that the Black Country club would be back in for him soon, but now we have some fresh financial details.
Apparently, Dia has a €22m (£19.2m) release clause in his contract that will, for whatever reason, only be active until the middle of January. That's an oddly specific bit of contractual jiggery-pokery, but means Wolves won't have forever to decide whether to pay up - but it's worth noting that it's a few million more than they were expecting to pay just a few months ago.
The 3AM Verdict: It's fairly evident that Wolves need a new striker, but is Dia the man? He has four goals in nine games in Serie A this season as he follows a 16-goal haul last year, so he's hardly goal shy, but he isn't a well-rounded player and doesn't contribute much to the build-up - but then, none of their current strikers contribute any goals, so perhaps that doesn't matter too much...