Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Gunners Plan Massive January Bids For Ilkay Gundongan And Diego Costa

By James Dudko, Posted: 11/08/13 01:08PM EST

Arsenal are reportedly planning a massive double bid for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa in the January transfer window. Not content to rest on his laurels after the mega-money summer capture of Mesut Ozil, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is again ready to take advantage of his club's new-found spending power.

According to The Daily Star's Nick Lustig, Gundogan is Wenger's primary target. The combative Dortmund schemer is currently in a contract impasse with the Bundesliga giants.

That has reportedly encouraged the likes of Arsenal and English Premier League rivals Manchester United to consider bids. Lustig cites and article with German publication Kicker, to report quotes from the player's father, denying a deal has already been agreed with La Liga's Real Madrid.

That supposed agreement was reported in Spanish daily Marca according to Lustig, but Gundogan's father has rebuked the claims. That could tempt Wenger into action as the French coach is known to be a fan of 23-year-old resourceful midfielder.

He was linked with a possible bid for the player as recently as early September by several UK reporters, including The Daily Mirror's John Cross.

Many will ask why do the Gunners even need another central midfielder? After all, it is the one fully stocked area of Wenger's squad.

The free transfer signing of Mathieu Flamini has given Arsenal another defensive-minded midfielder, alongside Mikel Arteta, to complement advanced playmakers like Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey.

But given the age of Rosicky (33), Arteta (31) and Flamini (29), Wenger would be smart to begin regenerating his group. In Gundogan, he would be getting a young talent on the rise who could start immediately.

Yet while keeping an eye firmly on the future is part of Wenger's philosophy, he may feel that £25 million could be better spent now on improving his options up front.

Arsenal are currently overly reliant on Olivier Giroud as their only credible and natural central striker. The towering Frenchman has become invaluable to the way Arsenal build attacks.

But despite seven goals already this campaign, there are always question marks concerning Giroud's finishing and whether he can be truly prolific enough to fire the Gunners to titles.

Those concerns could lead Wenger to bid for Costa, who is certainly in prolific form for Madrid. The tenacious Brazilian has developed from a supporting wide forward into a lethal central marksman.

Wenger is certainly a fan and The Star's Gary Jones believes the Arsenal chief is maintaining his interest in the intelligent and fleet-footed goal machine. Just like with Gundogan, this is not the first time Arsenal have been credited with a desire to bring Costa to North London.

Back in late July, Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo claimed Arsenal were considering a significant bid for Costa. He would be a dream signing for the Gunners, a player capable of playing instead of Giroud, or alongside him as part of a front three.

But given Atletico's current form in both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League, the idea of Arsenal actually managing to snare Costa could be just that, "the stuff that dreams are made of."

The same could apply to Gundogan, although he currently faces stronger competition for his place as Dortmund. Both Nuri Sahin and Sven Bender have thrived while Gundogan has nursed an injury.

Arsenal bidding for and successfully signing Gundogan and Costa may be fanciful rumors. But many would have said the same about Ozil just a few short months ago.

Personally, I would be surprised if Wenger signed both players in January. But I would not rule out another major investment in the winter window.

Arsenal have already prove they have the cash and are willing to use it.

Read More:

Gunners Target Brazil Forward Diego Costa

Gunners Want Bundesliga Stars Lars Bender, Ilkay Gundogan And Marco Reus

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