Arsenal Transfer News: Llorente, Yanga-Mbiwa, Walcott and Johannsson Involved in Latest Speculation

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By IBTimes Staff Reporter | September 27, 2012 7:23 AM EST

With recent signing Olivier Giroud yet to get off the mark for his new club, Arsenal continue to be linked with strikers to help fill the goal-scoring void left by the departure of Robin van Persie.

The most high profile name thought to be on the Gunners’ list of targets is Athletic Bilbao front man Fernando Llorente. Having failed to sign a new contract at San Mames, the Spanish international could well be available for a cut price fee in January.

While Athletic have so far shown no inclination to allow the 27-year-old to leave for anything less than his €36 million (£28.6m) buy-out clause, they may have to relent with Llorente able to depart for nothing next summer.

However, Arsenal could face serious competition, with Juventus set to continue their attempts to sign Llorente in the January transfer window, according to TalkSport.

Juventus reportedly made attempts to sign Llorente last month and general manager Giuseppe Marotta has suggested that the club will try to sign a big name player in January.

"People continue to ask me if we will sign a top player in January and all I will say at this moment is that we are monitoring our options with great attention,” he said, according to TalkSport.

Arsenal have also been linked to young Icelandic striker Aron Johannsson in recent days. The 21-year-old has been a sensation in the opening weeks of the Danish Super League with nine goals in his last four appearances for AGF Aarhus. Despite the speculation, Johannsson’s representative, Magnus Agnar Magnusson, has dismissed talk of an imminent transfer.

“Of course it is flattering for Aron to be linked with such a huge club as Arsenal,” he told Sky Sports.

"We all know that Arsene Wenger is a great coach to work under as he has proven to be able to get the best out of his young players for years, and of course it would be an interesting place for Aron to continue his development.

"That said we have heard nothing from Arsenal and at the moment we are concentrating on extending the deal with AGF. We are in regular contact with AGF and if they deliver an interesting enough proposal then we would be interested in extending the deal."

There has also been further talk of Arsenal’s interest in Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in recent days. The 23-year-old was strongly linked to the Gunners throughout the summer, while Milan also made an approach to the Ligue 1 champions. Spanish publication El Mundo Deportivo now reports that Barcelona are admirers of the France international and could be set to launch a bid in the near future.

While Chelsea and Manchester United are also interested, according to the story, Arsenal and Barcelona are thought to be heading the chase.

Finally, after reports claimed that Theo Walcott had rejected a new Arsenal contract last month after demanding a higher salary, the England international has come out to claim that it is football rather than financial reasons that are delaying him putting pen to paper.

“I've been judged, with people saying it's all about money. It's never been that with me," Walcott told BBC Sport.

"Playing up front is important. It's one of the main factors for me."

"I signed as a striker. I've learnt my trade out on the wing.

"Hopefully, I'll get to play up front in the next few games. It's frustrating being on the bench, but it's one of those things I have to deal with."

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