Arsenal eye Sime Vrsaljko and 'new Ronaldo' David Henen

Oct 5, 2012
Bill Mann

Dinamo Zagreb star could boost Arsenal's defence, and Belgian teen Henen could spark Man U battle

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RUMOURS are rife that Arsenal are eyeing up Dinamo Zagreb's Sime Vrsaljko. The Croatian right-back is only 20 but already comes with a reputation for rock-solid reliability, something that can't always be said of the Arsenal back-four.

Sampdoria, Valencia and Manchester City have all been linked with Vrsaljko (above) in recent months, but now comes news that the Gunners have joined the chase. And no, it's not something that Roy Hodgson let slip on the tube on the way to the Emirates on Wednesday night. Rather it's Talksport who have it on good authority that Arsene Wenger has sent his scouts to check out Vrsaljko.

Named Croatia's Young Prospect of the Year in 2010, Vrsaljko made his debut for the national side last year and is tipped to become one of the best defenders in Europe.

Another young prospect that has caught Arsenal's eye is Belgian teenager David Henen, who has been given the excruciatingly unimaginative nickname of  the 'new Cristiano Ronaldo' in his homeland. According to the 16-year-old winger, currently on the books of Anderlecht, has a similar playing style to Eden Hazard, and is also being courted by Manchester United. 

In other news, Italian rag Tutto Mercato claim that Javier Hernandez might not be a Manchester United player for much longer. Apparently Real Madrid are courting the Mexican marksman and hoping to exploit his lack of game time at Old Trafford.

Since the arrival of Robin van Persie in the summer, the 24-year-old Hernandez has had little chance to showcase his talent and apparently that's led Real to believe they can make an approach in the New Year. With the Spanish giants lacking strength in depth up front, it's reported that Jose Mourinho has put Hernandez at the top of his wish list.

Meanwhile Talksport obviously have their ear to the ground because they are also the ones reporting that Manchester City are checking out Genoa shotstopper Mattia Perin. The 19-year-old has been farmed out on loan to fellow Serie A side Pescara and so far he's gone down a storm at his temporary home.

Though City keeper Joe Hart has been in superb form between the sticks this season for the Sky Blues, Talksport report that City boss Roberto Mancini feels he needs more back up in the event of an injury to England's No. 1. At the moment Costel Pantilimon is City's No. 2 but Talksport say Mancini will monitor Perin over the next couple of months "with a view to making a move" in the New Year.

Finally the Daily Mirror claims that Everton's great start to the season is paying dividends with the Toffees top of the queue to sign 18-year-old Barnsley player John Stones. The right-back, described by the Mirror as "a strapping 6ft 2in Barnsley lad", has come to the attention of Manchester City and Chelsea this season but it looks like Everton boss David Moyes will get his man with a "big money" offer in January.

Stones made his debut for England Under-19 this year and the Championship side are believed to want in the region of £5m for the teenager.

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