Chamakh and Arshavin face Arsenal exit, Spurs want Carroll
Unwanted stars set to move but Lewis Holtby goes cool on Gunners move as Spurs hunt striker
THINGS are going pretty badly for Arsenal at the moment, but it's not all bad news at the Emirates, and the Gunners may soon be able to bid farewell to some of the dead wood that is cluttering up the dressing room.
First up and misfiring Moroccan marksman Marouane Chamakh has given the strongest indication yet that he could soon be returning to Bordeaux after two years of waywardness at the Emirates. Though Chamakh scored twice for the Gunners in last week’s 7-5 defeat of Reading in the Capital One Cup they were his first goals for the club in 13 months.
Chamakh no longer features for Arsenal in the Premier League, and it appears the indifference of Wenger is getting to him. Asked on RMC Sport if he was happy to be a bit-part player at Arsenal, Chamakh said: "I think I can bring something to the team, but I'm going to have to make a decision in the summer one way or another." Then he added: "If I return to France, it'll only be for Bordeaux."
Another misfit could be on the way out sooner than that. Andrey Arshavin, who like Chamakh, played in the Gunners' extraordinary 7-5 win over Reading in the Capital One Cup last week, so impressed the Royals that they could try and sign the Russian in January.
The 31-year-old winger was identified by Anton Zingaervich, Reading's owner, as one of several transfer targets in an interview with Russian sports website Spb.kp.ru, according to the Daily Mail.
But other news is not so promising, and Arsenal fans won’t be surprised to learn that Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby is having second thoughts about a move to the Emirates in the wake of the Gunners' grim performances of late.
The German playmaker with the English dad was linked with a move to Arsenal last month after admitting he had a soft spot for the club. But Holtby would have to be soft in the head to want to join the once great Gunners following three consecutive defeats – one of which was a 2-0 home defeat to Schalke in the Champions League.
Asked by Talksport if he still yearned to join Arsenal, the 22-year-old Holtby replied: "I am blue and white, I am with Schalke and agents are there to deal with that."
Holtby lines up for Schalke in tonight’s return fixture against Arsenal in Germany and he indicated he would be going all out to inflict further misery on the Gunners. "My focus is on the squad, the team, the club and tomorrow's [Tuesday’s] game. Other people can talk about it, but I just want three points for me and my team. Everything else I just put to the side."
Meanwhile Spurs have joined Arsenal in the hunt for a new striker this January. Andre Villas Boas looks determined to cement his reputation as a managerial mastermind by looking to add to his stable of forwards while refusing to allow more than one on the pitch at any time.
According to The Indepependent he is after Klass-Jan Huntelaar, Holtby's team mate at Schalke who is out of contract in the summer so could be available on the cheap in January. The paper says that an offer of around £7m could be enough to force the German side's hand.
AVB's other target is Liverpool outcast Andy Carroll, currently on loan at West Ham. The rumour was widely reported on Tuesday until Talksport pointed out Carroll would be ineligible to play for Spurs this season even if they were to buy him in January because Premier League rules dictate that a player can only represent two clubs in any season. Carroll turned out for Liverpool before his move to the Hammers in August.
When Alex Ferguson took over as Manchester United manager in 1986, £36m would probably have brought you Old Trafford and most of Salford. Nowadays it will just about cover the cost of a decent winger, at least that's what Porto and the Daily Mail would have you believe.
With Nani apparently on his way out of United, Ferguson has apparently identified Porto's James Rodriguez as his replacement. However, he will not come cheap and Porto have slapped a £36m price tag on the 21-year-old Colombian.
Caughtoffside.com reports that Real Madrid are poised to pounce for Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata. The Spanish media claim that Real boss Jose Mourinho is actively pursuing Mata and hopes to bring him to the Bernabeu next year.
Mata arrived at the Bridge in the summer of 2011 from Valencia and has become an important cog in Roberto Di Matteo’s side. As a result caughtoffisde claims that Chelsea would probably "ignore any offers" for the sizzling Spaniard unless they were tempted with silly money by Real.
Finally, the Metro says that Liverpool have a fight on their hands if they wish to land Fernando Amorebieta. Apparently Zenit St Petersburg are about to "enter the race" for the highly-regarded defender, who has come to prominence in recent months after a string of impressive displays for Athletic Bilbao.
The Reds have been tailing the 27-year-old Amorebieta for a while but were initially put off by his £26m release clause. That could be slashed now that Amorebieta is in the final 18 months of his contract, arousing the interest once more of Liverpool. Trouble is Zenit have now muscled in and the Metro reckons the Russian outfit will offer Bilbao £8m for Amorebieta in January and are cautiously optimistic that that will be enough to seal the deal.