Marouane Fellaini could join Arteta at Arsenal
Transfer Talk: In his search for robust midfielders, Wenger is also eyeing Padova’s Ousmane Drame
ARSENAL are lining up a New Year swoop for Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, according to the Metro. The paper says that the Gunners have been tailing the 23-year-old Belgian international for a while now and sense that the time is right to make their move.
Fellaini has 18 months to run on his existing contract with the Toffees but is allegedly disenchanted with life at Goodison following the departure of Mikel Arteta to Arsenal last month.
Fellaini is valued at £15m and the dilemma facing Everton is whether to cash in on him in the next few months or wait until 2013 when he could leave on a free transfer.
Boss David Moyes is reluctant to sell one of his few world-class players but acknowledged that the sale of Arteta might have sent out the wrong signal to the rest of the Everton squad. "Yes, there is a danger that selling Mikel could set a precedent, but I hope not," said Moyes. "I would like to think we can hang onto our best players."
The Metro claims that Arsene Wenger sees Fellaini as the sort of robust midfielder the club currently lacks. Fellaini for his part is apparently champing at the bit to play in Europe.
Meanwhile Talksport claims that the Gunners are squaring up to Italian outfit Fiorentina as the fight for Padova wunderkid Ousmane Drame hots up. The 19-year-old has been illuminating Serie B this season and the gifted midfielder has been watched by Arsenal scouts in his last two matches. But Talksport says Drame is also wanted by Fiorentina and a showdown for his signature is looming in the New Year.
Still with Arsenal, Wenger has admitted that he's been impressed by Yossi Benayoun since he arrived on loan from Chelsea last month and he might look to sign the 31-year-old midfielder on a permanent basis. "It is too early to say now," Wenger said, adding that a longer deal was certainly an option.
In other news, German football mag Kicker reports that Chelsea's Florent Malouda will be the subject of an approach from Bayern Munich when January's transfer window opens. The 31-year-old Frenchman feels his future at Stamford Bridge is under threat since the arrival of Juan Mata and the German club appear willing to offer him a fresh start in the Bundesliga. No fee is mentioned but with AC Milan and Juventus are also said to be interested in the winger, the Blues might look to auction Malouda to the highest bidder.
Finally, goal.com carries an exclusive concerning Dynamo Zagreb prodigy Mateo Kovacic. The 17-year-old midfielder, a Croatia Under-21 international and the youngest captain in his club's history, is rated one of the most promising talents in Europe.
Juventus have already made an approach to Zagreb, but according to goal.com the teenager has his heart set on a move to the Premier League. The website quotes the player's agent, Marcel Kacinari, as saying: "I will not hide the fact there was interest from Juventus... [but] it is most likely that he will go to England where the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United are leading the race."