Arsenal transfer round-up: Emile Smith Rowe bid, Gunners to move for Joshua Zirkzee, Benzema and more

Arsenal FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
Arsenal FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

As we head into the final week of the January transfer window, it has seemingly become more probable that Arsenal will end the window without a signing.

However, as always, there have been movements without anything materialising.

Let’s have a look at the updates for the links and rumours we have had for this week.

Arsenal January 2024 transfer round-up - Week 3

1. West Ham approach for Emile Smith-Rowe

Fabrizio Romano confirmed an alleged interest from West Ham in Smith Rowe earlier this week when briefing the Caught Offside podcast. However, Mikel Arteta confirmed in a press conference that he would like to keep the player.

Smith Rowe featured in the game against Crystal Palace as a substitute and he certainly put in a good display for the time he was on the pitch. This could be a statement from Arteta substantiating his words in the pre-match conference. 

However, there were also reports which said that the 23-year-old midfielder could go out on a loan to West Ham, but Romano confirmed that Arsenal rejected the initial bid. 

Officially the stance of the club is that they want to keep the player however, this is football, things change. The move to the Hammers could have also taken a hit following the signing of Kalvin Philips from Manchester City.

2. Karim Benzema’s possible move to Arsenal fading away

Rumours suggesting Karim Benzema could move to England on loan emerged and among the many Premier League sides Arsenal were rumoured to be one of them.

While there were no concrete reports about the possible switch, Fabrizio Romano confirmed on his YouTube channel that the situation with Benzema and Al Ittihad is very tense.

“There is nothing at the moment with Arsenal. What I’m hearing at the moment is that the situation remains quite tense between Karim Benzema and Al-Ittihad. There are new face-to-face meetings between Benzema, people close to the player, and the club to find a solution.

“Benzema returned to training in recent days but not with the rest of the group. He’s training alone because the situation remains tense,” Romano said.

This deal also seems unlikely as there would be a huge stress on the financial side of the deal. Benzema will have to take a major salary cut if he wants to make a return to Europe.

3. Gunners prepared to move for Joshua Zirkzee

Reports from newspaper outlet Gazzetta dello Sport write that Arsenal have set aside €50m to sign Zirkzee. If the north London side do make a signing, it will be a striker as it was set as a priority position before the window began.

Zirkzee also has been scouted by Manchester United however, there has not been any significant movement there either. Bayern Munich will be able to buy the player for the cheapest amount as they have a €40m buy back clause on the player.

4. Osimhen breaks silence on future

Victor Osimhen is another big name being murmured in the English Premier League (EPL). Arsenal and Chelsea are among the names that have appeared on reports suggesting Osimhen could make a switch to the EPL.

The Nigerian recently said: “I have already made my decision on the next step to do at the end of the season”.

“I already made up my mind. I already have my plan, I know what I want to do, the next step I want to take."

It's unclear as to whether Arsenal have set their sights on the player and a deal could materialise. However, if the Gunners do not sign a striker, it could be an indication of a possible move in the summer.

A lot of interesting reports have emerged, but nothing has quite materialised in terms of incomings. It is a popular narrative that Arsenal must sign a striker if they want to challenge for the league title. However, the 5-0 win over Crystal Palace is an indicator that Arteta’s side have found their shooting boots.