Gunners planning New Year spending spree.
Arsenal have been regularly scouting Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and Southampton left-back Luke Shaw as Arsène Wenger prepares an overhaul to his squad in 2013.
Sterling and Shaw are both still only 17 but have established themselves in the Premier League this season, with Wenger understood to be hugely impressed by their progress.
It is also understood that Arsenal are seriously considering a January bid for Asmir Begovic even after Peter Coates, the Stoke City chairman, warned that they would reject all offers for their goalkeeper.
The striker position remains Arsenal’s priority in January, with an offer of around £6million expected for Schalke’s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Newcastle United’s Demba Ba is also an option.
Shaw is one of the Premier League’s most promising defenders and the left-back is already being earmarked as a long-term replacement for Ashley Cole for England, with Chelsea also keen to recruit the 17-year-old.
Shaw has naturally drawn comparisons with former Saints star Gareth Bale but, unlike the Welshman, he has shown the defensive maturity to suggest he will remain at full-back rather than convert to a flying winger.
Sterling, meanwhile, has burst onto the scene with Liverpool and England this season and is already one of the most exciting players in the Premier League. The London-born winger is progressing brilliantly at Anfield but is reportedly homesick and interested in returning to the Capital.
The former QPR youngster is also stalling over a new deal at Anfield, which may give Wenger more reason to believe a hefty bid will be accepted by Liverpool, particularly if contract-rebel Theo Walcott is used as bait.
Huntelaar, meanwhile, is a lethal goalscorer would should be available on the cheap in January, with his Schalke deal set to expire in June. Arsenal’s cause has been aided by the fact that the Bundesliga giants sacked boss Hubb Stevens over the weekend.
Begovic is a fine ‘keeper, who has outgrown boring draw-specialists Stoke.
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