There are a number of high profile players with expiring contracts in 2013 that the Gunners have been linked with, and although majority of the rumours may not fruitate into anything concrete, over the next week we will be writing some articles about some of the possible transfer targets for January. First up is Schalke hitman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar – Contract expires Summer 2013 [Part 1]
The Dutchman caused the Gunners all sorts of problems in their two fixtures in the Champions League this season, netting on both occasions while making a real nuisance of himself against Arsenal’s almost full-strength defence. So Wenger has seen first hand what the striker is capable of, and even better – his contract is set to expire next summer with the Bundesliga outfit Schalke failing to secure his signature on a new deal.
The former Real Madrid hitman is reportedly set to leave in January with Schalke resided to loosing him as they wish to make some profit, rather than risk a Bosman Free transfer occurring at the end of the current season.
The Gunners have been linked with most of the available strikers of late, and Huntelaar’s agent has done little to squash the rumours after his latest statement revealing a move away is possible with a selection of teams interested in the strikers services.
The Sun reported that a bid in the region of £7 million is enough to persuade Schalke to release their star striker. Arnold Oosterveer (Huntelaar’s agent) reportedly said:
Klaas has not decided. He’s had offers from England, Italy and Spain. It’s also possible he could stay in Germany.
He wants his future planned by the winter. In the next 45 days he wants to know his next project and it will be decided by his football ambitions and not by money.
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His dream is to fight to win titles in Europe and to have chances to be successful, because today he is one of the best strikers in Europe.
The Dutch international forward was in sensational form last season scoring an impressive 48 goals in 47 games in all competitions, and so far this season he has been reasonably prolific scoring eight in 15 appearances. If he is available for around the £7 million mark then that’s right up Wenger’s alley.
However it is highly unlikely the Gunners will be able to land the striker for so cheap with other clubs such as Chelsea and Liverpool interested, but it is up to Wenger and his negotiators to do their thing and quickly. Similarly to Podolski, Arsenal need to get their foot in the door and perhaps try and offer Hunterlaar a nice salary and a pre-contract..That is if he is even interested in a move to North London.
Huntelaar is certainly up there with Europe’s best strikers, his failure to crack it at Madrid is similar to Podolski’s move to Cologne – he was too young and up against massive talent with high expectations. But now he is one of the most feared in the continent and can find the back of the net which is exactly what the Gunners are struggling with.
He is a different style of striker to Giroud who tends to hold the ball up more, be a target man and is dangerous in the air whereas Huntelaar is a more agile, Van Persie-esk forward that likes to run with the ball and can score goals out of nothing as we have seen first hand.
Wenger needs more options up front than just Giroud, and Gervinho just will not be a world class striker. Walcott has the potential to be, but his future is uncertain and is very effective out wide. Huntelaar would add a new dimension to the Gunners striker force and he will be available on the cheap with his contact expiring next summer – so go get him Wenger and quick!