Arsenal news – Gunners face challenge for Montolivo, Shearer attacks Wenger policy, Arsene dismisses criticism

Gunners face challenge for Montolivo.

Arsenal will be forced to compete with a whole host of European clubs for the signature of Ricardo Montolivo in the January transfer window.

The Gunners confirmed their interest in the Fiorentina midfielder on Wednesday but the player’s agent has told Calciomercato other clubs are interested in the 26-year-old whose contract expires next June. Arsene Wenger will be keeping close tabs on the playmaker until the transfer window reopens and sent scouts to Italy’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Slovenia on Tuesday to observe his performance.

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Shearer attacks Wenger policy.

BBC Sport pundit Alan Shearer has voiced his concerns for Arsenal this season even after the signing of Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker in the final hours of the transfer window. Shearer believes the signing of Arteta from Everton was a failsafe replacement in the midfield after the departure of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri but he is not convinced the Spaniard is a player that can turn the Gunners back into a championship winning side: “In Mikel Arteta they have a real gem. But Arteta and the others do not turn Arsenal back into title contenders.”

Arsene Wenger was criticised for his aloof approach in the summer’s transfer window, after waiting until the final few days to spend some of the £50 million made from the sale of Fabregas and Nasri. “I don’t think that will bother Wenger,” said the former Newcastle striker as he continued to elaborate on Arsenal’s prospects, “but what they have to do most of all, beginning on Saturday, is start to get results.”

Wenger dismisses criticism.

Arsene Wenger has hit back at claims his quick fire signings in final 48 hours of the transfer window were influenced by his side’s 8-2 drubbing at Old Trafford, ESPN understand.

The Frenchman signed five players in the last two days of the transfer market, including Chelsea’s Yossi Benayoun on loan and Mikel Arteta from Everton to bolster the midfield positions. After receiving criticism about the lack of depth in Arsenal’s defence, Wenger also signed German international Per Mertesacker from Werder Bremen on deadline day, only to be hit by a further setbacks with the loss of Thomas Vermaelen for up to six weeks with an achilles injury. Wenger denies feeling the pressure from the defeat to Manchester United, insisting the spending spree was necessary to replace players that had been sold.

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