Arsenal eye Abdennour and Matri, Liverpool join Eder hunt

Nov 21, 2012
Bill Mann

Goal-getter Eder looks set to be a star of the 2014 World Cup playing for Portugal

NOT for the first time this season – and probably not for the last – Arsenal and Liverpool are reportedly going head to head in a bid to sign one of Europe's hottest properties. This time the rumours concern Braga striker Eder (pictured above), described by Talksport as a "hitman", although they mean in the footballing sense.

The 24-year-old has netted six goals in just seven league appearances for the Portuguese club this season since signing from Académica in the summer, and apparently his strike rate hasn't escaped Arsenal or Liverpool's notice.

The strapping Eder - full name Ederzito Antonio Macedo Lopes - was born in Guinea Bissau but has represented Portugal four times and is tipped to become one of his country's stars of the 2014 World Cup.

According to Talksport, Liverpool are preparing a New Year bid while Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could look to bring in Eder once he's offloaded Marouane Chamakh and Nicklas Bendtner in January. It's reported that Eder has a hefty buy-out clause in the region of £24m and Braga won't listen to offers under than figure.

Bendtner was not even in the Juventus squad for their match against Chelsea on Tuesday, suggesting that his time in Turin will be shortlived. And when he heads back to the Emirates he may be accompanied by another out-of-favour Juve striker, Alessandro Matri.

He watched Roberto Di Matteo's last game as Chelsea boss from the bench and is said to be disillusioned with life at Juventus. Arsenal still expected to move for a big name striker in January, the 28-year-old is the latest to be linked to the Gunners.

French website Le 10 Sport says that Matri is "chomping at the bit" to leave Juventus, but it claims that he has a rather optimistic £44m escape clause written into his contract and notes that the sum could be "prohibitive".

Talksport claims that Wenger is more concerned about defence than attack at the moment and is keen on Toulouse's Tunisian defender Aymen Abdennour. The 23-year-old valued at around £5m has been on Arsenal's radar for almost a year. Scouts watched him again at the weekend and Arsenal could make a move in January says the website, spurred on by fears that other clubs, said to include Barcelona and Paris St-Germain, are beginning to circle.

Still with Arsenal and reports that Roma have made an approach to the Gunners about Tomas Rosicky. The Czech Republic midfielder hasn't featured for Arsenal this season on account of an Achilles tendon injury but that doesn't appear to have deterred the Italian outfit. It's reported they will pay Arsenal £5m for the 32-year-old and have already "sounded out" the club about a January move.

Arsenal are apparently seriously tempted by the offer, bearing in mind Rosicky's age, injury record and possibly even his questionable haircut. In addition his current contract expires in June 2014 and £5m will be as much as the Gunners are likely to get for a player in the twilight of his career.

Newcastle are ready to fight it out with Benfica for the right to the hand of Argentine winger Ivan Bella. According to reports in Portugal, the 23-year-old has been monitored by scouts from both Benfica and the Magpies after a series of outstanding performances for Velez Sarsfield in the Argentine Premier League.

Dubbed the 'new Angel Di Maria' - the Argentine star sold by Benfica to Real Madrid in 2010 – Bella is highly regarded in South America and it's believed Benfica remain the favourites to sign him. However, Newcastle haven't given up hope and are understood to be plotting an audacious £3m bid in January.

Finally, reports that Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti has denied he's in negotiations to bring David Beckham to the French capital. Goldenballs announced this week that he'll be leaving LA Galaxy next month in search of one final challenge, and that's prompted a feeding frenzy among the Fourth Estate as to where the former England captain will see out his career.

PSG have been heavily linked with Becks in the past but when the matter was put to Ancelotti on Tuesday evening, he replied: "We haven't made an offer, good luck to him."

West Ham United, however, are apparently interested in enticing Beckham back to his "East End roots". The Mirror says that the Hammers' co-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan are ready to offer Beckham an encore in the Premier League. "He's an East End boy and it would be a fitting end to his career," Gold told the Mirror.

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Headline is botched on this. 2012 World Cup?

Good point... should say 2014, obviously. Now fixed...