Arsenal interested in Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Dragovic
Liverpool and Man City ready to 'lure' Theo Walcott from Arsenal, but Wenger might have a replacement lined up
BOTH Liverpool and Manchester City are ready to “lure” Theo Walcott from Arsenal with a promise to play him in his preferred striker’s role.
According to the Mirror, Walcott’s frustration at being seen only as a winger by Arsene Wenger will be exploited by the Reds and the Sky Blues. As we reported last week, Walcott wants to play in a more central role for the Gunners and that’s allegedly one of the reasons that the 23-year-old England star is stalling on signing a new contract with Arsenal.
Wenger is aware of Walcott’s wishes to play up front but he’s told him he must wait. Walcott’s existing contract expires in the summer but it’s believed Liverpool and City will approach him in the New Year with a promise to give him “more chances to score” by playing as a striker. The Reds in particular want to use Walcott to partner Luis Suarez in what manager Brendan Rodgers views as a dream team.
Meanwhile Talksport reports that if Arsenal do decide to offload Walcott in the New Year it may be because the Gunners are in the throes of signing Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The dead-eyed Dutchman is out of contract with the German outift next season and the club's general manager, Horst Heldt, has confessed the chances of hanging on to Huntelaar “are slim”.
Talksport speculate that Schalke may look to cash in on Huntelaar in January rather than see him leave on a free transfer six months later.
But it appears Arsenal aren’t the only interested party; Tottenham and Chelsea are also mentioned as potential suitors to the 29-year-old Dutch international.
It's not just up front that Arsene Wenger is focusing, though. According to reports over the weekend he has also joined the Aleksandar Dragovic fan club and is monitoring the 21-year-old centre back who is turning heads at Basel.
However, the Arsenal boss will have to join a queue of other clubs. Inter Milan, Roma, Fiorentina, Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen, Stuttgart and French side Marseille have all expressed an interest, according to Metro, while Norwich City are believed to have failed with a £2 million bid over the summer.
Another player on Wenger's radar who is slightly less well known is 20-year-old Gianelli Imbula. The Congo-born midfielder currently plies his trade with Guingamp in the French second tier. But according to The Sun he has won rave reviews this season and has been watched by Arsenal scouts several times already this season.
In other news, the Daily Star reports that Liverpol have jumped ahead of Arsenal in the race to sign Demba Ba. The Senegalese striker scored both goals for Newcastle in their weekend draw with Reading, and that’s only increased his market value.
But according to the Star, Liverpool will make a big money offer for Ba and in return offer the Magpies Andy Carroll. The England striker left Tyneside for Liverpool in January 2011 but was loaned out by the Reds to West Ham in August.
However, if the Star has its facts right, Liverpool will recall Carroll from West Ham in January and sell him to Newcastle – in exchange for Ba. The Reds have yet to make a formal approach to the Magpies but it’s reported that Newcastle “would love to discuss bringing the pony-tailed striker back to the North East”.
Finally, Spanish rag Sport reports that Paris Saint Germain have “made contact” with Jorge Mendes, the agent of Cristiano Ronaldo, to see if he might be tempted to swap the Spanish capital for the French one. With the former Manchester United star rumoured to be unsettled at Real Madrid, PSG are apparently gagging to offer Ronaldo a once-in-a-lifetime deal. Sport claims that the wealthy French club could be prepared to offer Ronaldo £13m a season if he bolts from the Bernabeu.