Arsenal transfer news: Maisonnial, Akpom loan and a summer move for Danilo

It is that time in the transfer window when speculation is rife and clubs are being linked with players from all around Europe but, in truth, there are not many huge deals done in the winter window.

Arsenal is a club that does not escape the attention of the tabloids but manager Arsene Wenger always plays his cards close to his chest.

Rarely do links to the Gunners actually bear any fruit and so any rumours should be taken with a pinch of salt.

However, that said, the north Londoners are reportedly watching Saint Etienne’s young goalkeeper Anthony Maisonnial.

Reports in France suggest that Wenger is a keen admirer of his compatriot and, given his past history on signing French plyers, this one may not be without merit.

Despite being just 18 years of age, Maisonnial has played for the Ligue 1 side’s first team while representing France from Under-16 to Under-19 levels.

The Loire-born starlet has also played in the French Cup but currently finds himself on the bench – would it be the same if he moved to the Emirates Stadium?

Closer to home and Championship side Aston Villa are reportedly eyeing up a loan deal for Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom.

The 21-year-old has been on the Arsenal books since 2013 but has only made 10 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring four goals in the process.

The Canning Town-born hit-man has spent time on-loan with various clubs including Brentford, Coventry, Nottingham Forest and Hull City and it appears as though Villans’ boss Steve Bruce wants to add to that list.

There is currently a striker shortage at Villa Park and so it might be that Akpom is the perfect fit for the Midlanders to see them through until Jordan Ayew and Jonathan Kodjia return from international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations.

It was decided in the summer that Akpom would stay at Arsenal and try to fight his way into first team contention, but it has not happened for the youngster, and the fact that Bruce and Akpom know each other quite well from their days together at Hull might work in his favour.

Villa need a lift and punters looking to use free football bets might fancy them to rally over the second half of the season to make the play-offs.

Granit Xhaka is facing yet another ban after his red card against Burnley and it has been suggested by the Daily Mail that Wenger might already have had enough of the Switzerland international and be turning his attentions elsewhere. 

Although normally one to back his players until he is blue in the face, the 67-year-old tactician has been linked with a £34.5m move for Porto’s Danilo, as Xhaka is fast becoming a liability.

Wenger does like combative midfielders but there is no point being a tough guy in the stands and he may now turn to Danilo – a Euro 2016 winner with Portugal.

The 25-year-old will not score many goals but puts in the hard yards and could be a player who fits well into the Gunners’ philosophy of pace and power.

He does the simple things well and might prove to be the perfect foil for the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott.

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