Liverpool lure Walcott, Man Utd want Arsenal target Wanyama
Brendan Rodgers prepared to up Walcott's wages and play him as a centre-forward
LIVERPOOL are preparing a bid to tempt Theo Walcott to Anfield in January, reports The Sun. Manager Brendan Rodgers will offer to pay the Arsenal contract rebel £100,000 a week and play him in his favoured centre-forward position.
With the 23-year-old Gunner's contract up for renewal in the summer, Rodgers is confident he can get Walcott for a knockdown price of around £8 million. Despite his hat-trick heroics of mid-week against Reading, he has been unsettled for some time and may find it hard to resist the offer from Anfield.
Arsene Wenger has spoken of the "urgency" of the Walcott contract issue and hopes to resolve his future by Christmas "one way or the other". It is believed that Arsenal's current salary offer stands at £75,000 a week.
But as usual with an Arsenal transfer saga things are not as clear cut as they seem, and also on Friday TalkSport reported that Liverpool boss Rodgers had distanced himself from the deal. "There's nothing in it. He's an Arsenal player," he said.
More bad news for Arsenal, and it appears as though Manchester United are preparing to swoop for Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama when the January transfer window opens. The Kenyan international has been linked with Arsenal since the summer, but it seems as though Wenger may be beaten to the punch by Alex Ferguson.
The Scotsman reports that Fergie's brother Martin, a United scout, has given the player glowing reviews after watching him in action this season. Celtic manager Neil Lennon has put a £25m price tag on the midfield enforcer's head, but United believe they can get him for half that amount.
Another player to slip through Arsenal's fingers is Colombian whizkid Giancarlo Poveda. And to make matters worse the club that beat them to his signature is Barcelona.
The Gunners have profited in recent years from raids on Barcelona's youth set up, for example signing Cesc Fabregas as a teenager, but now Barcelona are fighting back and after pinching Alex Song in the summer they have plucked the 14-year-old winger from Arsenal's grasp, reports Caught Offside.
Manchester United winger Nani, whose Old Trafford future looks to be in doubt after Sir Alex Ferguson blamed the Portuguese player for the club's defeat at the hands of Chelsea this week, is a transfer target for Juventus, according to reports from Italy.
Calcio Mercato says Juve boss Antonio Conte is poised to pounce for Nani in January after earmarking him as a key winter transfer target.
In the aftermath of the Chelsea defeat, Ferguson uncharacteristically singled Nani out for blame. "We gave the ball away for a third goal and we were in complete control of the game at that point," said Ferguson. "But Nani decided to try and beat a player, lost the ball and they got a penalty kick against us."
As for Chelsea, they will face stiff competition from a trio of European clubs in their bid to sign Steaua Bucharest defender Vlad Chiriches, says Talksport. The defender's agent, Ioan Becali, claims that AC Milan, Zenit St Petersburg and Real Madrid are also monitoring his client.
"Milan scouts are convinced that he is a good player, and they are likely to come back to see him," said Becali. "The player is also liked by Zenit and Real Madrid."
Becali warned interested parties that the successful bidder will be expected to pay the fee in two instalments. "Whoever wants to take him must put down an instalment during the winter and pay the remainder next summer," he said.
Manchester City's out-of-favour defender Kolo Toure has put French clubs on alert after revealing his desire to play across the channel, says the Daily Mirror. The Ivorian, fourth in the central defence pecking order at City, has been something of an outcast at the club since he received a six-month ban for failing a drugs test in March 2011.
Speaking of where his future may lie, the 31-year-old said: "Why not France? There's PSG, Lille, and the league is getting stronger." Paris Saint-Germain would be a particularly attractive prospect for the former Gunner, with big names Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva already on the Parisian side's roster.
Toure almost left for Turkish Bursaspor in the summer and, after making just four appearances so far this campaign, is unlikely to remain at the Etihad beyond the January transfer window.