Wenger to spend big on De Rossi  

Friday, 31 July 2009

Arsene Wenger's preferred midfield target this summer is the Roma and Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi, and despite the Italian club's reluctance to sell Arsenal have not given up hope that Roma's perilous financial position could force a sale.

Like Liverpool's pursuit of De Rossi's Roma team-mate Alberto Aquilani, the player's future is bound up with the financial problems of the club and the long-term plans of the Sensi family who own it. De Rossi, 26, is regarded as the most important player at the club behind Francisco Totti and is valued at around £30m, which is far in excess of any transfer fee paid by Arsenal in the past.

While De Rossi's reputation in England is not distinguished because of some of Roma's less than impressive Champions League performances in recent years, he is regarded in Italy as one of the country's finest players.

[+/-]

Arsenal ready to move for Blaise Matuidi and plan Patrick Vieira talks  

Arsène Wenger is closing in on the £8m capture of Blaise Matuidi from St Etienne and he is also expected to talk to Patrick Vieira in the coming days about the former Arsenal captain making a dramatic return to the club.

The manager, who has signed Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax for £10m but raised £39m through the sales of Kolo Touré and Emmanuel Adebayor to Manchester City, has confirmed that he has money available, although he added that it had to be spent "in the right way", meaning with great prudence.

Wenger has monitored the progress of the 22-year-old Matuidi for the best part of three seasons, with his chief scout in France, the former Arsenal player Gilles Grimandi, urging him to move for the central midfielder. Matuidi, a graduate of the Clairefontaine academy and a former mainstay of the France Under-21 team, would appear the archetypal Wenger signing, for he is quick and intelligent, with good technique and passing ability.

St Etienne's sporting director is Damien Comolli, who served as Wenger's European scout at Arsenal for seven seasons before he went to work for Tottenham Hotspur. The pair have remained close, and Comolli, who has just overseen the €15m (£12.8m) sale of the striker Bafétimbi Gomis to Lyon, has conceded that "it would be difficult to prevent Matuidi from leaving if a top-10 European side came in for him". Matuidi has said he feels the time is right to seek a fresh challenge.

The possibility of Vieira, now at Internazionale, also moving to Arsenal sounds outlandish, but the proposition has been mooted by middlemen. Wenger, who is a mentor and confidant to Vieira, will raise the issue when the pair next speak.

Even though Vieira left Arsenal in 2005 after nine seasons, the 33-year-old continues to have the utmost respect for Wenger and his return would also be welcomed in the dressing room, where Vieira has remained in touch with his fellow Frenchmen William Gallas, Mikaël Silvestre, and Gaël Clichy, as well as the captain, Cesc Fábregas. His experience could help to galvanise a young squad.

"When we find the right players ... of course, we do not make money to leave it in the banks," Wenger said. "We are looking at some possibilities to strengthen the squad and we will only do it for players who it is worth spending the money on."

Tottenham had made a move for Vieira, and their interest in him remains alive, although the midfielder has reservations about playing for Arsenal's local rivals. There is also the option of his staying put at Inter, which did not exist two months ago when the manager, Jose Mourinho, frustrated by Vieira's wretched luck with injuries and inconsistent form, was prepared to usher him towards the exit. Vieira has since enjoyed one of his fullest pre-seasons for some time and feels fighting fit for the new campaign.As with every international player, this is a big season for Vieira, with the World Cup finals in South Africa at the end of it. Despite missing a host of France matches last season, he remains Raymond Domenech's captain. Moreover, Vieira's leading of the team at next summer's showpiece would carry extra significance, for he was born in the west African country of Senegal. He needs to be playing regular club football in the build-up and he will take his time to assess where best that interest will be served.

[+/-]

Toure agrees City switch  

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Kolo Toure has agreed terms with Manchester City and is now set to undergo his medical, skysports.com understands.

The Ivorian star is set to leave Arsenal after the two clubs agreed a deal in excess of £15million for the central defender.

Toure has been with The Gunners since 2002 when Arsene Wenger paid a nominal fee to bring him from his native Ivory Coast, but he now set to leave the North London giants.

Toure has now travelled to Manchester for his medical, ahead of the deal being confirmed.

Skysports.com understands that Toure has agreed a four-year deal with the Eastlands club and his signing could be confirmed within the next 24 hours.

[+/-]

Gunners eye-up France-based pair as search for Adebayor replacement begins  

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Arsenal are considering moving for Toulouse striker Andre-Pierre Gignac as a replacement for Emmanuel Adebayor.

Gignac, 23, was the French league's top scorer last season and has been the subject of a £13million bid from Lyon - but Toulouse want closer to £18m.

Arsenal, armed with £25m from Adebayor's sale to Manchester City, had scouts watch Gignac on Friday night in a friendly against Bordeaux who had Marouane Chamakh in their line up.

Arsene Wenger is an admirer of Sunderland target Chamakh, Hoffenheim's Demba Ba and Newcastle's Obafemi Martins but Gignac is believed to be his preference.

Neighbours Tottenham also had scouts at the game on Friday as they continued to run the rule over Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko, 19.

Manager Harry Redknapp is keen on the France U21 international and could team him with Patrick Vieira who they hope to sign from Inter Milan this week.

Peter Crouch will make a decision on his future this week with Fulham, Sunderland and Tottenham all keen on signing the Portsmouth striker.

Only Sunderland and Fulham have matched Portsmouth’s £12million asking price. Both clubs are understood to have agreed personal terms also.

Spurs, contrary to reports, have yet to lodge a bid for Crouch and despite Redknapp going public on his desire to be reunited with the lanky striker, Real Madrid’s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar remains the Tottenham manager’s preferred option.

But should Huntelaar finally agree on a move to Stuttgart this week, the German side have a £15.5m deal in place with Real, then Spurs will switch their attention fully to the capture of Crouch.

[+/-]

Marouane Chamakh scouting report and video: The inside track on the Arsenal target  

Arsene Wenger has admitted his interest in Bordeaux's Marouane Chamakh, even though the striker says he has all but given up hope of joining the Gunners.

The Morocco international has been constantly linked with a move to the Emirates as a possible replacement for Emmanuel Adebayor.

Wenger said: "We keep an eye on him. He's one of the players we'll follow and if we went for a striker he would be one of the possibilities."

But Chamakh, 25, is no longer confident a move to Arsenal will materialise. "I don't really believe it much any more," he said.

[+/-]


Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Marseille midfielder Lorik Cana claims Everton are waiting in the wings to sign him.

Hamburg are believed to be leading the chase for the 25-year-old, but Everton and some Italian sides are thought to be monitoring Cana's situation

The midfielder's future at Marseille has been the subject of speculation for some time and the recent arrival of Stephane Mbia could see the French giants allow him to move on.

The Albania international has admitted he would be interested in a possible move to the Toffees if the option became available.

"Everton in England are also interested, they are a very good club," Cana told the French press.

"I also have other options in Italy."

[+/-]

City in talks over Adebayor  

CITY are understood to be in talks with Arsenal to sign striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

The 25-year-old Togo international has been linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium this summer.

Neither the Blues nor Arsenal would comment on reports linking Adebayor with a move to Eastlands this lunchtime.

But it is understood that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is prepared to consider selling his striker.

City, though, are still pressing ahead with their attempts to sign Carlos Tevez, with a view to getting a deal done before they depart for a tour of South Africa on Wednesday.

[+/-]

Man City Bid for Adebayor reported  

The mornings press is dominated by news that we have bid for Emmanuele Adebayor, with The Independent, Telegraph and Mail all reporting bids of between £20-£25 million for the Arsenal forward.

It does appear that Arsenal would be in selling mood, and Adebayor will in all likelihood be keen - seeing his wages likely doubled less than a year after his previous 50% hike in salary. I knew Adebayor wasn't the most universally liked player at Arsenal, but the weight of opinion against him has been surprising since the story broke and I don't think it is a case of sour grapes after the event like we saw when Gareth Barry moved from Aston Villa. There really does appear to be a genuine dislike for Adebayor amongst Arsenal fans.

A player with character issues doesn't seem to be the most obvious choice for Mark Hughes, and given the anti-Anelka feeling that developed in certain sections of the City crowd, he may not be set to become a terrace idol anytime soon. Hughes, if nothing else though, is a combative type, and I'm sure would back himself to manager players deemed to be troublemakers.

I don't have a problem with the signing in terms of fitting him into the team either. My concern with Adebayor is that he does not seem a natural goalscorer, but his record is a decent one and if nothing else, we would have plenty of variety and options. Although there is no European competition this season, we really do need to carry four top forwards, and given that our options in attack for the large part last season were a choice of Robinho plus one of Evans, Caicedo, Sturridge or a returning Bojinov, it is clear we needed to seriously upgrade.

[+/-]

Arsene Wenger steps up chase for Marouane Chamakh as Emmanuel Adebayor nears exit  

Arsene Wenger is lining up a £7million bid for Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh as a replacement for Emmanuel Adebayor. The Arsenal manager is ready to let Adebayor join Manchester City for £20m, with talks already under way between the clubs.

Wenger sees Chamakh as a ready-made replacement for the Togo forward and wants to move quickly for the French-born Morocco international in order to fend off interest from other Premier League clubs.

Fulham, Tottenham and Sunderland have also been linked with the 25-year-old, who has just one year to go on his contract and has refused to open talks with his French club over an extension. Bordeaux are now resigned to losing him and manager Laurent Blanc wants the player's future to be decided before he takes his side on a pre-season tour of Canada next Wednesday.

Wenger was impressed with the striker's performances in helping Bordeaux win the French League and publicly confirmed his interest in the player this month.

Chamakh had earlier revealed he would be keen on a move to Emirates Stadium. He said: "I want to play in the Premier League and a club like Arsenal would be a dream. If they were to come calling, I would certainly give them a positive answer."

For Wenger's part, the chance to sign a tall, rangy striker for a cut-price fee - Chamakh has a £7m buy-out clause in his contract - would appear too inviting to turn down, even if Chamakh is an unknown quantity in England.

His goalscoring form is far from prolific and he averages less than a goal every four games in his career, although he did net 14 times last term.

But Wenger has an enviable track record of unearthing gems from French football and is confident Chamakh can make the same impact as Adebayor, who was also relatively unheard of before moving from Monaco in 2006.

Wenger has also noted Chamakh's impressive link-up play with Bordeaux midfielder Yoann Gourcuff and hopes he could strike up a similar rapport with Cesc Fabregas.

Adebayor, meanwhile, will demand City make him the highest-paid player in the Premier League if he completes his switch from Arsenal.

He is expected to insist on a figure surpassing that of Robinho, who is the division's top earner on £160,000 a week, and will also command a huge signing-on fee given that he has four years left on his contract.

However, early indications suggest City are prepared to meet his demands as they bid to line up a strike force of Adebayor, Roque Santa Cruz and Carlos Tevez, who sealed a £25m switch to Eastlands last night.

The Argentine has signed a five-year, £130,000-a-week deal after City reached agreement with the player's representative Kia Joorabchian to take on his economic rights.

Former Arsenal striker Jose Antonio Reyes could make a surprise return to England after both Liverpool and Everton made enquiries about the winger.

The 25-year-old, who spent three unsuccessful years on Arsenal's books - the last of which was on loan at Real Madrid in 2006 - is no longer wanted by Atletico Madrid and his contract can be bought out for just £4m.

Reyes spent last season on loan at Benfica, who have offered to match Atletico's asking price but the Merseyside clubs are hoping to convince the Spaniard to return to England.

Arsenal are expected to announce American sports marketer Tom Fox as chief commercial officer later this month. Fox will work directly under chief executive Ivan Gazidis from August and help raise the Gunners' profile in the

[+/-]

Barcelona Desperate To Sell Eto'o To Manchester City And Buy Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas - Report  

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The Blaugrana have decided to try and bring Cesc back, but first they need the money from Samu's sale...

Barcelona are desperate to sell Samuel Eto'o to Manchester City, in order to raise the funds necessary to sign Cesc Fabregas from Arsenal.

According to The Daily Star, Barca are willing to sell Eto'o to City for around €29 million, but they are still unsure as to what the Cameroonian's plans for the future are.

Pep Guardiola is desperately seeking midfield reinforcements ahead of a gruelling season. Initially, Fabregas was not a priority, but recent interest in him from Real Madrid has alarmed the Blaugrana, as they would be loath to lose a player from their cantera to Los Merengues. m

The paper quotes Jaume Ferrer, one of Barcelona's vice-presidents, as saying on radio, "The coach really wants to get on with one of his major midfield signings as quickly as possible.

"We are confident we can land someone that we want and everybody knows what players we are after.

"They have been constantly mentioned in the press."

It is thought that Barca would have to pay in the region of €46m to land Fabregas. Arsenal might also ask for Yaya Toure in exchange, but it is unlikely that the Catalans would agree to include him as part of a deal, given that he has just signed a new contract.

[+/-]

Melo's Juve move in trouble  

Juventus' bid to sign Fiorentina midfielder Felipe Melo could be in jeopardy after the Viola failed to agree terms with Marco Marchionni.

Brazil international Melo's switch to Juve appeared imminent after reports claimed they had beaten Arsenal to his signature.

It is suggested Juve struck an agreement of cash plus right winger Marchionni in order to meet Melo's buy-out clause of ?1.6million.

However, Marchionni's agent, Bruno Carpeggiani, has revealed that Fiorentina would not meet the player's wage demands.

"Unfortunately, nothing will be done," Carpeggiani told Gazzetta.it.

"We only asked for €200,000 (?73,000) more than the amount Marco earns at Juventus, but Fiorentina wouldn't agree. It's a pity."

[+/-]

Bremen coach tips Naldo for Arsenal  

Friday, 3 July 2009

Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf has tipped centreback Naldo (full name Ronaldo Aparecido Rodrigues) to join Premier League big boys Arsenal. The 26-year-old Brazilian international moved to the Bundesliga in 2005 having made his initial steps as a professional with Juventude but has since gone on to earn the nickname 'the beast' for his imposing 6ft 5inch frame.

Known for his cannon-ball free-kicks and solidity at the back interest has risen across Europe following his role in the German side’s impressive run to the UEFA Cup final. Naldo even got on the scoresheet in the showpiece final but couldn’t prevent Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk taking the title.

Speaking to a club insider, coach Schaaf tipped Naldo to reach the top:
"Naldo is a great athlete and could do well at the right club, unfortunately he doesn't fit the direction we're planning to move in any longer.
"We expect to move him for somewhere in the region of €10 million, and English side Arsenal is as of now the most likely destination."
Arsenal have already signed Belgian international Thomas Vermaelen as they look to boost their defensive options, but with clouds hanging over the future of Kolo Toure, William Gallas, Mikael Silvestre and Philippe Senderos it appears Arsene Wenger could once again dip into the market for a centre-half.

[+/-]

Melo still set to be subject of big bid  

Reports in Italy’s Corriere dello Sport claim that Serie A giants Juventus will test Fiorentina’s resolve to keep midfielder Felipe Melo by matching the buy-out clause set in his newly signed contract. The Brazilian put pen-to-paper on the new extension last week and seemingly dampened speculation linking him with Arsenal in the process. Nevertheless, undeterred by the latest developments, the Old Lady are willing to offer in excess of €25m to lure the 26-year-old to Turin.

Melo has long been admired by the bianconeri, but after a bid for Udinese playmaker Gaetano D’Agostino hit the rocks, they have returned to the negotiation table with La Viola director of sport Pantaleo Corvino. Ironically, the inclusion of a buy-out clause now means that a transfer could become easier to push through with any bids matching the designated amount automatically triggering a right to speak to the player himself.

Among the interested parties is apparently also free-spending Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who is expected to meet with Corvino over the next few days to ratify the transfer of Royston Drenthe.

[+/-]

Wenger confident of Adebayor stay  

Arsene Wenger will move for Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh if Emmanuel Adebayor leaves, but the Arsenal boss is sure the striker will stay.

Adebayor has long been linked with a move to AC Milan and there has been speculation the Gunners are now willing to accept a big-money offer to create transfer funds.
It is also rumoued that Adebayor is keen to move in order to find success after seeing Arsenal's trophy drought continue last season but Wenger believes the 25-year-old, who joined the club in 2006, will remain in North London for the new campaign.

"If he does not want to stay, he will leave but I think that he will be still at

Arsenal this season," the Frenchman told RMC.
If Adebayor does move on this summer Wenger has admitted he would Chamakh as a replacement.
Asked if the Morocco international is of interest, he said: "Yes, but only in the event of a departure."

Wenger has also confirmed he was tracking Karim Benzema before big-spending Real Madrid had a €35million (£30m) offer accepted for the Lyon striker.
When asked which French players he admired, Wenger said: "There is one who interested me but he (Karim Benzema) left for Madrid.

"I did not make an approach because I would never have thought that Lyon would sell this year."

[+/-]


Design by www.typegoalz.com