Arsenal eager to replace Alex Song before the transfer window closes

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Arsenal confirmed on Saturday that they have agreed to sell Alex Song to Barcelona for £15 million, and will almost certainly bring in a replacement before the transfer window closes in less than a fortnight.

Gunners fans won’t have liked Arsene Wenger reacting to the midfielder’s imminent exit with a familiar spiel about how he has “Abou Diaby coming back, Jack Wilshere coming back in one to one-and-a-half months, and Tomas Rosicky is not far away”.

However, perhaps sensing that such a response would be greeted with groans, he added that “we might bring in another” and the most likely candidate for that role is Real Madrid’s Nuri Sahin.

The former Borussia Dortmund playmaker struggled with injury after arriving in Spain last summer and was a fringe player upon his return, so with Luka Modric heading to Madrid, they are open to letting the Turkey international leave on loan.

Sahin had been linked with Arsenal earlier in the window but speculation quietened considerably over the last few weeks, to the extent that Liverpool instead emerged as the frontrunners to sign him.

The 23-year-old is believed to favour a move to the Emirates Stadium though, with the lure of the Champions League presumably a major factor, and a deal shouldn’t be too awkward to negotiate given that it suits all parties.

Wenger was honest about the fact that pundits and supporters were entitled to ask whether his side would have won their Premier League opener – a 0-0 draw at home to Sunderland – had the recently departed Robin van Persie still been around.

Neither Lukas Podolski nor Olivier Giroud, who came off the bench for the final third of the match, were at the best, but a productive performance from fellow newcomer Santi Cazorla ensured that the stalemate wasn’t an overly gloomy occasion.

The north Londoners are 4/6 to assume their usual position in the top four and 16/1 to go two better than last season by finishing first.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.