Arsenal target Wigan's Hugo Rodallega to replace Chamakh

Dec 23, 2011
Bill Mann

And former Gunner Ray Parlour wants Wenger to sign Wayne Bridge to strengthen defence

IT APPEARS the Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega is in line for the sort of Christmas present most Wigan players can only dream about. Rodallega is apparently wanted by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and a £5m offer will be made to Wigan the moment next month's transfer window opens.

According to the Metro, the 26-year-old South American will arrive at the Emirates to replace misfiring Moroccan Marouane Chamakh. The latter will be returned to France by Wenger after his 2010 move from Bordeaux proved as successful as an EU attempt to salvage the euro.

Rumours have suggested in recent weeks that Rodallega has had a barney with Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, and the Metro claims that will facilitate his transfer to Arsenal.
Meanwhile former Arsenal star Ray Parlour has urged the club to snap up Wayne Bridge next month on a loan deal. The Gunners have been linked with a move for the former England defender, particularly in light of their defensive injury crisis, and Parlour believes the Manchester City player could add some steel to the Arsenal back four.

Speaking to Talksport, Parlour said of the 31-year-old: "Wayne Bridge would do all right, he'd be a good signing. He hasn't played for quite a while but he's still a quality player." Bridge has fallen out of favour with Sky Blues boss Roberto Mancini and he's believed to be keen to resurrect his career with the Gunners.

A battle royal is looming between Arsenal and Manchester United over Anderlecht midfielder Lucas Biglia. In a conversation with Dutch rag Het Nieuwsblad, the Argentine's agent Enzo Montepaone was happy to admit his player was being courted by two of the Premier League's big hitters. "Fiorentina, Arsenal and Manchester United, the interest of those clubs is real," boasted Montepaone.

It's believed Anderlecht have put a £6.5m price tag on the head of the 25-year-old playmaker, but Biglia's agent said his client's overriding concern would never be a financial one despite the interest of a trio of wealthy clubs. "He would easily earn double than at Anderlecht but his first intention is to grow and he wants a club where he can do that," said Montepaone.

In other news, Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has pooh-poohed suggestions that he's on the tail of Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell. Stories began circulating earlier in the week linking the 20-year-old Toffees playmaker with Chelsea but according to Villas-Boas the rumours are about as believable as Father Christmas.

"I saw that we'd been linked with him," AVB told reporters, before adding. "Midfield is not a sector where we're desperate to strengthen our squad. So at the moment those stories are false."

Villas-Boas also addressed gossip concerning a renewed offer for Spurs midfielder Luka Modric next month. "We're not looking at it at the moment," said the Chelsea boss. "He's an extremely creative player, one of the greatest talents in the world, a player who will have tremendous success."

The Blues offered Tottenham £40m for the Croatian creator last summer, only to be knocked back. But speculation is rife the Blues will come again in the New Year with another bid.

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