Man Utd catch out Arsenal with first move for Wilfried Zaha
Fergie to offer deal that allows him to stay with Palace this season, Arsenal join Luiz Adriano hunt
THE PHONEY war brewing over the future of man-of-the-moment Wilfried Zaha could be over after it was reported that Manchester United were preparing a deal for the Crystal Palace youngster that will allow him to stay with his current club until the end of the season.
Goal.com reports that United have made the first move in what is expected to be a scramble for his signature when the transfer window opens in January, but says that United believe a delayed deal, like the one they agreed for Fulham defender Chris Smalling, is more likely to succeed.
However, the website points out that Zaha grew up supporting Arsenal and notes the Gunners' chief scout has also been to see him play several times and reported back to Arsene Wenger in glowing terms. The upshot is that Arsenal are not expected to lie down and let the player slip through their fingers without a fight. Things should get pretty tasty between now and the close of the transfer window.
Three Premier League clubs are in the hunt for Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano. The Daily Mail says that Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool are considering a January move for the 25-year-old, and scouts from all three watched him in action during Shakhtar's 3-2 Champions League defeat to Chelsea last week.
Adriano has netted 45 goals in 107 games for the Ukrainian club since arriving from Internacional in 2007 and the Mail says Arsenal have been tracking him since the summer but will need to off-load Marouane Chamakh in January before they can make an offer.
Although Adriano doesn't qualify for an automatic work permit, it's believed his agent is working on it to ensure a move to the Premier League goes smoothly.
Still with the Gunners and the Evening Standard says Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong has "quashed speculation" he's looking to leave the Emirates permanently in the New Year.
The 20-year-old Ghanaian continues to work his way back to full fitness after a serious knee injury, but rumours have emerged in recent weeks suggesting he might be considering his future with the Gunners.
But Frimpong used Twitter to tell Arsenal fans he intends to stay put. "Subject to rumours am not leaving afc," he said. "I am fully committed to afc." However Frimpong did add that he might look to go on loan to continue his rehabilitation.
Danish star Christian Eriksen has given his clearest indication yet that he's open to a move to the Premier League. According to the Metro, the 20-year-old playmaker has refused to sign a new deal with Ajax, increasing speculation that he's looking to leave Holland next year.
Eriksen is rumoured to the object of great interest from the two Manchester clubs and Barcelona, with Liverpool and Spurs also said to be sniffing. He has been in blistering form this season for Ajax, helping the Dutch outfit defeat Manchester City 3-1 in the Champions League. Though his contract runs until 2014, Ajax "could be willing to listen to offers" before he has the chance to leave on a free transfer.
Speaking to Danish media outlet Sporten, Ajax director Marc Overmars admitted they were trying to tie down the Dane. "We would like Christian to sign a new contract with us, but it's not something he wants," explained Overmars. "We speak with him and his agent and we will see what happens after December."
Whether you call him by his actual name, Wilfried Bony, or his nickname, the African Hulk, the 23-year-old Ivory Coast striker sounds like a lot of fun, and he could be entertaining the faithful at Chelsea if ESPN is to be believed.
The website says that Bony has "welcomed" speculation linking him with a move from Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem to the Blues in January. Earlier this month the player's agent claimed there had been interest from the Blues, as well as Aston Villa, and a switch to Stamford Bridge could be on the cards.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is also said to be friends with his counterpart at Bony's Dutch employers Merab Jordania, something that could help get the move on track.
Continuing the Dutch theme, Talksport reports that Manchester United have a job on their hands if they wish to sign Wesley Sneijder. The Inter Milan star, who comes with a £25m price tag, has been tailed by the Red Devils for the best part of two years, but now it appears wealthy Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala are about to pounce for the Dutch international.
Talksport claims that Sneijder has recently clashed with Inter coach Andrea Stramaccioni over his fitness and "this has alerted United once again". Unfortunately it's also alerted Anzhi, who are keen to pair the 28-year-old Sneijder with Samuel Eto'o in a deal that could net the Dutchman as much as £350,000-a-week.
Perhaps this is why Italy's Tuttosport reports that Inter are the latest club to express an interest in Willian. The Shakhtar Donetsk playmaker is a favourite of both Tottenham and Chelsea but apparently they've been put off by the Ukraine club's asking price of £28m. Inter, however, could fund the move for the 24-year-old Willian by offloading Sneijder in January.