Arsenal ready to pounce for Blackburn's Chris Samba

Jan 17, 2012
Bill Mann

Congolese defender's price tag is £12m – but he could be the man to shore up Gunners' defence

BLACKBURN defender Chris Samba has handed in a transfer request and put Arsenal and Tottenham on a high state of alert. The 27-year-old centre-back released a statement following his request in which he said: "I have personally informed the owners, manager and executives at the club that I want to leave in this transfer window... I have decided now is the right time for me to pursue a new challenge and I have asked the club to respect my decision and allow me to leave."

Arsenal and Spurs have both been tracking the strapping Congolese defender for months, as have QPR, and rumours have suggested in recent days that Paris Saint Germain might also be interested in Samba.

According to The Sun, Blackburn are determined to hold on to Samba and are slapping a £12m price tag on him they hope will deter would-be buyers. But with Arsenal's defence in disarray right now, the Gunners are favourites to make a move.

Gary Cahill has moved to Chelsea in a deal that will net Bolton Wanderers around £7m. The England central defender was linked to Arsenal and Tottenham last summer but the pair were put off by Bolton's demand for £15m. Realising that they were never going to get such a sum for the 26-year-old Cahill, the Trotters lowered their asking price and in swooped the Blues.

"Chelsea is a massive club that looks to win trophies season in, season out," said Cahill. "It is a big opportunity for me to be a part of that. Opportunities like this you can't turn down."

Meanwhile the BBC reports that with Cahill now unpacking his bags at the Bridge, Chelsea will authorise the selling of centre-back Alex to QPR. The Brazilian has been unsettled for months and apparently the two clubs have agreed a fee for the South American.

In other news, Inter Milan president Massio Moratti has told Manchester City that the £20.6m they have tabled for Carlos Tevez bid is their final offer for the Argentine striker.

The Metro is one of many papers to report on the tortuous transfer negotiations that have dragged on for weeks between Tevez's representatives and officials from City and Inter. But it seems the endgame is approaching with Moratti quoted as saying: "The offer is €25 million. Now it is up to City whether they accept that bid or not."

With Paris Saint Germain still thought to be interested in Tevez, City must now decide whether to accept Inter's offer or try and squeeze a few more million from the French outfit.

Still in France and it seems that Harry Redknapp's jaunt to Marseille to watch Loic Remy in action against Lille was a waste of time. The Tottenham manager had been hoping to tempt the 23-year-old striker to White Hart Lane but Remy has told France Football he's staying put at the Stade Velodrome.

"It is nice," said Remy, "it means some clubs have shown interest. But it has already been sorted out with the chairman and the coach - it is out of the question to leave now."

Elsewhere, the agent of Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero has hinted that his client might be amenable to a move to Liverpool as the 24-year-old Spaniard grows ever more disillusioned with life at the Bernabeu. In an interview with the International Business Times, Teo Lazaro said: "He's finding his chances limited at Real. If he can't play at Madrid, then he'll play somewhere else... he's keen for a move away, possibly to Liverpool."

Since arriving at Real in 2009, Granero has failed to nail down a spot in the starting XI and that's thwarted his ambitions to make the step from the Spain Under-21 side to the senior line-up.

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