Arsenal plan summer clear-out to keep RVP and AOC on side
Farewell to Arshavin, Chamakh and Squillaci, but Mario Gotze elects to stay in Germany
IT'S THE news that Arsenal fans have been waiting for, Arsene Wenger has finally realised that not everyone who rocks up at the Gunners training ground each morning deserves to be part of the squad, and that a lot of the players on the club's books are surplus to requirements, particularly those on loan.
And that means that there will be a clear-out of the dead wood at the Emirates this summer, which is good news for Arsenal but bad news for the likes of Andrey Arshavin, Marouane Chamakh, Manuel Almunia, Sebastian Squillaci, Denilson, Carlos Vela and Park Ju-young who will all be yanked from the Gunners' teat.
That, says the Daily Mail, will also free up money for Arsenal to offer the likes of Robin Van Persie and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain improved contracts and offer decent wages to other incoming players, who will give the club a lot more than those on their way out.
But although Arsenal may be picking up points in the Premier League the way David Cameron picks up dinner guests that hasn’t stopped Mario Gotze turning his back on the Gunners. Instead the 19-year-old playmaker has signed on for another term with Borussia Dortmund that will see him tied to the current Bundesliga champions until 2016.
"Everyone knows how comfortable I feel in Dortmund," Gotze told the club's official website. "The club are far from finished with their recent resurgence, and I want to be part of this development."
The news will come as a bitter blow to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger who had been trailing the teenage sensation for months. His interest was first aroused last summer and he then saw Gotze close up when the two sides clashed in the pool stage of the Champions League. Goal.com reports Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc saying: "We are very happy that we will take the next step with Mario in the future."
Meanwhile Talksport claims Palermo are considering flogging Abel Hernandez in the summer to either Arsenal or Roma while his market value is still sky high. Apparently the Gunners had a bid for the 21-year-old striker knocked back last year but Wenger is said to be still keen to land the Uruguayan hitman, who’s been in sparkling form this season.
Speaking to Italian rag Gazzetta del Sud, Hernandez’s agent, Vicenzo D'Ippolito, said: "Last summer Arsenal bid for the boy. It was for E18m but the club rejected it." D'Ippolito said that Wenger wanted Hernandez to fill the void left by Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas "but could not close the deal."
The agent then added: "Now there are rumours that Roma are interested in him but there is a minimum price established by Palermo and the president will not bring it down." D'Ippolito didn’t elaborate on what the minimum price was, but then being an agent he wouldn’t, would he?
Portuguese daily A Bola says that Liverpool are still in the hunt for Jackson Martinez. The 25-year-old Colombian frontman has impressed for Mexican club Jaguares this season and a host of clubs, including Porto, Manchester City and Chelsea, are believed to have sent their scouts to watch Martinez in action.
"By the end of the season, there will be developments on the future of Jackson," his agent Diego Cativa told A Bola, with the newspaper speculating that the Reds stand a good chance of sealing the deal.
Finally the Daily Mail says that Chelsea came back from Portugal with more than just a precious 1-0 win against Benfica in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final. Apparently the Blues took time out to conduct further talks with Porto, Benfica’s fierce rivals, with a view to signing their Brazilian striker Hulk.
The Mail says that the "main stumbling block" is the fee, with Chelsea reluctant to fork out the £85m that Porto are said to be demanding. However Porto have softened their stance in recent months and a compromise may be reached for the South American frontman in the summer.