Could Benzema or Navas solve Arsenal's striker crisis?
Meanwhile Liverpool line up £10m bid for Theo Walcott, but he may prefer Manchester City
ANYONE wondering whether Arsenal are in need of an extra striker only needed to watch the Gunners' grim capitulation to Norwich on Saturday night to see that the answer is a definite yes. The Canaries fans were sure of the answer as they crowed "Robin van Persie, he would have scored that" whenever one of Arsene Wenger's misfiring forwards made a hash of another chance.
So, who are the Gunners being linked with today? With no developments on the Fernando Llorente front this weekend it falls to Talksport to suggest that Arsenal could be in the market for Karim Benzema. The French striker (above) has long been admired by Wenger and he is keen to bring him to the Emirates. The only problem is that he is unlikely to move until the summer because Real Madrid will not sell him unless they get their hands on Radamel Falcao (but that's another story - see below).
Another possibility is that the Gunners will move for Jesus Navas of Sevilla. Football Transfer Tavern reports that the Spanish club is in financial trouble and may be forced to offload its most valuable assets to stay afloat. Arsenal, it suggests, could be prepared to stump up £20m or so in January for Navas, who would probably be a better bet than either Gervinho or Andrei Arshavin in attack.
Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has persuaded the club's owners to bankroll a New Year move for Arsenal winger Theo Walcott, according to the Mirror.
The Reds are ready to offer Arsenal £10 million for the 23-year-old, who had the good fortune to miss the Gunners' sorry defeat to Norwich on Saturday through injury, says the paper.
But will Walcott want to join a club not guaranteed of playing in next season's Champions League? The Mirror claims that Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in Walcott and if given a choice he'd plump for a club who'll give him the chance to showcase his talent in Europe's premier competition.
Could Liverpool also be planning a January swoop for Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby? That's the claim made by goal.com, who say that the German Under-21 captain is being actively pursued by the Reds.
The worrying news for Liverpool, however, is that Holtby "has a soft spot for city rivals Everton", while also retaining a degree of affection for Arsenal, presumably because their defence makes him laugh.
Holtby's English dad passed on his love of Everton to his son and Holtby says that could play a factor when his contract with Schalke expires at the end of the season. "Everton are close to my heart and I always loved watching Arsenal," said Holtby. "We will see when it happens [in May]."
The Metro claims that disgraced Chelsea captain John Terry won't be offered a new contract by the Blues when his existing deal expires in 2014. Terry will be 33 by then, and though his age will be a factor the Metro alleges his various indiscretions haven't sat well with the Chelsea board. According to the paper Terry's behaviour "has angered the directors and he is no longer part of the club's long-term plans".
The former England defender began a four-match ban on Saturday for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand and Chelsea fared well without him, beating Tottenham 4-2 at White Hart Lane to consolidate their position at the top of the Premier League table.
Talking of Tottenham, The Sun says that Emmanuel Adebayor's future at the Lane is "in the balance" with the 28-year-old striker unsure whether he is part of Andre Villas-Boas's plans or not. He hasn't started a Premier game this season despite signing from Manchester City in the summer in a £5m deal.
The Togolese frontman impressed Harry Redknapp during a loan spell at Spurs last season, but since Villas-Boas's arrival at the club he's fallen out of favour. The Sun quotes a Tottenham insider saying: "Manu wants to play and he really hoped to be in with a chance of starting against Chelsea… It's obvious now that AVB doesn't fancy him and Manu thinks it's better he left."
Finally, the Daily Mail claims that Manchester City are ready to outbid Chelsea for the services of Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao. The Blues have been tailing the 26-year-old Colombian hitman for weeks but the Mirror says that the Sky Blues have suddenly decided to try and lure Falcao to the Etihad in the New Year with a whopping £46m offer.