Arsenal chase the ‘German Messi’, Marko Marin  

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

German international Marko Marin's future remains unclear but reports in both the German and Bosnian media suggest Arsenal are the leading contenders to secure the 21-year-old's signature. Currently with Werder Bremen, the Bosnian-born midfielder has been linked with a host of clubs in recent months but the Gunners are rumoured to have moved ahead of the field.

Dubbed the "German Messi" by some people - probably his agent - Marin cost Bremen £7m when they signed him from Borussia Monchengladbach last year, but German reports suggest that his evaluation has now increased to around £15m. Whether Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger could ever bring himself to part with such an amount, given that he's as tight as Cesc Fabregas's hamstring, isn't known but if he doesn't make a bid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Manchester United might make an approach for the player who's made 15 appearances for Germany since his debut in 2008.

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has made it clear the Blues have no interest in signing Liverpool's ailing striker Fernando Torres. The Spaniard's goalscoring form has gone into recession this year and Ancelotti has no plans to initiate a rescue package for the 26-year-old. "I always said that Torres is not our aim for the future because we have trust in a lot of our young players," Ancelotti told reporters, adding: "We have fantastic strikers in Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, and we have Salomon Kalou, fantastic young players like Daniel Sturridge and Gael Kakuta... if everyone stays fit, we won't need anyone else. I think we have a fantastic squad."

According to German rag Express (not to be confused with its British namesake), Manchester City are looking to spend their way out of their current malaise, which has seen then suffer back-to-back Premier League defeats to Arsenal and Wolves. Apparently City intend to bring winger Renato Augusto to Eastlands to strengthen their existing overpaid and underperforming squad. The 22-year-old Brazilian is plying is trade with German outfit Bayer Leverkusen this season, though a gammy knee has sidelined him recently. Nonetheless it's alleged City are preparing a £17m offer for the player. The Express quotes Leverkusen's sporting director Rudi Voeller as saying: "This shows that we have a good team here in Leverkusen. However, we cannot compete financially with the big European clubs."

And the Daily Mirror claims that City are also pursuing Blackpool keeper Matty Gilks as they seek to find a long-term understudy for Joe Hart. That role is currently filled by Ireland shotstopper Shay Given but with him rumoured to be leaving in January's transfer window, City boss Roberto Mancini is already eyeing replacements. The Mirror says that Mancini has been to watch Gilks in action for Blackpool and with the keeper's contract set to expire next summer, the Tangerines are keen to cash in on him while they can.

Finally, Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has dismissed as ludicrous reports suggesting Manchester United are about to pounce for Marek Hamsik and Edinson Cavani. If the rumours are to be believed United boss Alex Ferguson is about to loosen the purse strings as he looks to strengthen his squad but not as far as de Laurentiis is concerned. In an interview with Italian radio station Radio Marte he said: "I've read that Ferguson would like to buy Hamsik and Cavani for €40m (£35m) and I started to laugh.

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