Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger 'on alert' for a 'special' forward

Wenger wants a new striker. Photo: PA

The start of 2014 brings with it the green light for clubs at the top and bottom of the Barclays Premier League to make January additions, with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger "on alert" for a "special" forward.

The league leaders have been heavily indebted to the form of Olivier Giroud this term, but some Gunners fans worry that their attack lacks the depth to sustain a title challenge.

Lukas Podolski's return from injury is a boost but an out-and-out striker is surely needed if they are to continue their charge, with Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata and Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa linked with a move.

"We are like many clubs, certainly [we are] on alert," Wenger said.

"If something special turns up we will not turn it down, but we are not as well desperate because we have a big depth in our squad.

"We have shown that because our midfield at West Ham and at Newcastle was completely different, we changed three players and we still managed to have a very strong team.''

Wenger continued: "I am quite confident with our squad.

"As has been mentioned, maybe up front we are a bit shorter with specialised people because most of the big clubs have three specialised central strikers, we have only two because [Yaya] Sanogo is not ready yet, so maybe if that something special opportunity turns up, we will not turn it down, but everywhere else we are in no need at all [to buy]."

Reported Arsenal target Costa has also been linked with fellow title challengers Chelsea, who lie two points off the leaders despite having failed to really hit top gear so far this term.

A lack of goals from Jose Mourinho's strikers has played a major part in that, but second-placed Manchester City have no such problems in attack, having netted 54 goals already this term.

Their main target would appear to be a centre-back, while resurgent rivals Manchester United will look to bolster their midfield.

Atletico Madrid's Koke, Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund and Athletic Bilbao's Ander Herrera have all been linked to the Old Trafford giants, while there has been talk of David Moyes making another move for left-back Leighton Baines.

That would be a huge blow to fourth-placed Everton - linked to Los Angeles Galaxy's Landon Donovan and CSKA Moscow winger Aiden McGeady - while neighbours Liverpool also hope to do business to keep their Champions League qualification challenge going.

Emmanuel Adebayor's rejuvenation has lessened Tottenham's need for a new striker, while Newcastle have been tracking Lyon forward Bafetimbi Gomis for a while and may try to bring back Chelsea's Demba Ba - a move another of his former clubs, West Ham, would also be interested in.

Hammers co-chairman David Sullivan has promised funds will be available in January, with Everton duo Nikica Jelavic and John Heitinga among those linked with a move to east London.

Fellow strugglers Aston Villa, Cardiff and Fulham could also do with new attacking options, while Crystal Palace have been linked to Stoke journeyman Peter Crouch.

Hull may well renew their interest in West Brom's Shane Long, while Mark Hughes and Michael Laudrup have announced their intentions to make attacking signings at Stoke and Swansea.

Bottom-placed Sunderland are also hoping to do business this January, despite bringing in 14 players during the summer.

Gus Poyet has already secured Fiorentina full-back Marcos Alonso on loan, while Liam