Can Dijon's Benjamin Corgnet cut the mustard at Arsenal?
Arsenal could add insult to injury by poaching Newcastle target to play alongside Rosicky
HAVING disposed of Newcastle in their league clash last night, Arsenal are now looking to clip the Magpies' wings still further by making a move for Dijon midfielder Benjamin Corgnet.
The Metro says that the Gunners despatched scout Gilles Grimandi to Paris on Saturday to watch the 24-year-old in action against Paris Saint Germain.
Though Dijon went down 2-1 at the hands of the French league leaders, the Metro claims that Corgnet produced a sparkling display in the defeat. As a result "Arsenal are now convinced he can handle the pressure of big matches" and an offer will be made at the end of the season despite the interest of Newcastle in the Gallic playmaker.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has tracked the meteoric rise of Corgnet over the last 18 months. Only two seasons ago he was plying his trade for amateur outfit Monts d'Or Azergues. But with another assured performance against PSG, not to mention eight goals in 22 matches this season, Corgnet has passed muster with the Nutty Professor and next season he'll likely line up alongside Tomas Rosicky in the Arsenal midfield.
A month ago the news that Rosicky had extended his six-year spell at the Emirates would have left Gooners feeling more suicidal than Spurs boss Harry Redknapp. But the Czech playmaker has been in the form of his life in recent weeks and on Monday announced he had agreed a new contract with the Gunners.
In a statement posted on the club's website, the 31-year-old declared: "It's a great honour to sign a new deal with Arsenal. I love the club and am proud to wear the Arsenal shirt. It's felt like home since I arrived six years ago and I couldn't be happier to commit my future to the team."
Although neither club nor player revealed the length of the contract extension, Arsenal did say that "everyone looks forward to Tomas's continued contribution in the coming seasons", indicating it's at least a two-year deal. That would signal a change in policy for Arsene Wenger, who in the past has only offered rolling one-year deals for players over 30.
The Arsenal boss said he was "delighted" at Rosicky's decision to see out his career in north London, adding: "I believe he is an exceptional player, a natural footballer who is technically top class."
In other news, Manchester City and Chelsea are on tenterhooks to see which one of them will win the race to sign Gonzalo Higuain. The Real Madrid striker has been linked with a move to the Premier League next season after failing to nail down a regular starting spot at the Bernabeu.
Twenty-four-year-old Higuain is said to be considering approaches from both English clubs but for the moment he's keeping mum as to where he might end up. "I am not going to talk about my future," he told Talksport. "I will devote my attention to Real Madrid for the remaining months of the season."
Finally, the Daily Mail reports that Spurs are circling Liverpool "wonderkid" Raheem Sterling and that Harry Redknapp is likely to close in for the kill at the end of the season. The 17-year-old winger, a star for England Under 18, is apparently frustrated at his lack of first team opportunities at Anfield and would welcome a move to the Lane.
Born in Jamaica, Sterling spent his formative years in London and first showed his potential with the QPR youth academy. Though the Reds signed him in 2010 for £500,000, Sterling doesn't appear to have impressed Kenny Dalglish since he took over the hot seat last January.