‘Chelsea and Arsenal both want me,’ claims Taarabt
Transfer Talk: The QPR captain wants to stay in the capital, but will cost £10m
If the rumours are to be believed Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger seems determined to fill his squad with journeymen footballers. Just 24 hours after it was alleged that the nutty professor was weighing up a move for Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton comes news that Wenger is also making advances towards Adel Taarabt.
The captain of newly-promoted QPR has told French sports daily L'Equipe that Arsenal and Chelsea have both been in touch. "I've had contact with Arsenal and Chelsea, but it's a bit of a mess," said the 22-year-old midfielder, who did well for Rangers as they won the Championship title last season. It's a mess apparently because "Arsenal haven't yet sold Fabregas, and Chelsea don't have a manager, but I'd like to stay in London". The mediocre Moroccan also claimed that QPR are asking £10m for his services, a sum that hasn't down well either at the Bridge or the Emirates.
And talking of things that haven't gone down well, the news that Wesley Sneijder has decided to remain with Inter Milan has left Manchester United down in the dumps. The champions had their heart set on the Dutch master but Sneijder – having initially talked in glowing terms of United – has now agreed to stay at the San Siro. The Metro quotes Inter president Massimo Moratti as saying that the club will be holding on to all of its stars this summer. "I have spoken to Maicon, Sneijder and Eto'o and they have all told me they want to continue with us," said Moratti. Maicon had been linked with Real Madrid earlier in the year while there had been the odd rumour going around that Chelsea were thinking of making a play for Samuel Eto'o.
But while one door closes another opens and United might soon be welcoming 18-year-old Frenchman Raphael Varane into their home. The 18-year-old central defender is currently on the books at Lens, who were relegated from the French first division last month, and apparently United have bid £8m for the teenager. French rag La Voix du Nord carries an interview with Lens president Gervais Martel in which he confirms that United have made a bid but also says Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have been making enquiries. "Given the clubs involved, it would be very hard to stop him [from going]," says Martel, adding: "I hope this will be finalised in the next 48 hours - I have just spent hours on the phone, and there are a lot of things to sort out."
Talksport reports that Liverpool are about to sort out the paperwork for another young Frenchman - 21-year-old centre-back Dejan Lovren. The Lyon defender impressed for the French club last season after making the move from Dinamo Zagreb and now the Reds have the Croatian in their sights. Talksport claim that Damien Comolli, Liverpool's director of football, is negotiating with Lyon to sign Lovren for around £3m.
In other news, Schmeichel the Younger has left Leeds for Leicester City. Gloveman Kasper Schmeichel, son of Manchester United legend Peter, impressed for Leeds last season and has been snapped up by Sven Goran Eriksson in a move that will reunite the pair. Schmeichel was Manchester City's number one during Eriksson's brief tenure at Eastlands.
The race to sign Bolton's England defender Gary Cahill is hotting up with Spurs the latest to be linked with the 25-year-old. Arsenal and Manchester City have been sniffing around the centre-back for months, but the Sun says that now Harry Redknapp is making enquiries with a view to signing the player who comes with a £17m price tag.
Finally, the Mirror says that Arsenal are mulling over a £7m offer from Roma for Gael Clichy. Club director Walter Sabatini is on his way to London according to the tabloid with the hope of persuading the Gunners to sell the Frenchman for £3m less than their initial asking price.