Arsenal after Demba Ba and Huntelaar, but face Adrian fight
Thierry Henry, Wilfried Zaha and Pepe Reina are also on Arsene Wenger Christmas list
THE LATEST player linked to Arsenal is Newcastle ace Demba Ba. According to The Sun, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger "knows" he can land the Senegal striker for £7.5m because of a buy-out clause in his Newcastle contract. With the Gunners firing blanks in attack these days, Wenger apparently believes the 27-year-old Magpies marksman is the man to fill the boots of the much-missed Robin van Persie.
Ba scored twice for Newcastle on Monday night as they beat Wigan 3-0 in the Premier League, and it's that sort of form that Wenger wants to bring to the Emirates.
Though the Magpies are desperate to retain Ba, Arsenal are reportedly ready to offer him £60,000 a week plus add-ons, prompting a source close to the strapping striker to tell the Sun: "Demba wants to be paid what he thinks he deserves but remains committed to the club. He loves it at Newcastle and wants it to be sorted out as soon as possible."
But Ba is by no means the only player being linked to Arsenal, but when a club has as much money as Arsenal is reputed to then it is no surprise that they are linked to all and sundry.
Over at the Daily Mail it is a different striker who will be wearing red and white next year. The paper says Schalke goalscorer Klass-Jan Huntelaar is set to sign in the new year and could join for as little as £6m as his contract runs out at the end of the season.
Arsene Wenger is known to be a fan of the 29-year-old Dutchman and has tried to sign him in the past. The Mail claims he will make another attempt to buy the player next month after head scout Steve Rowley gave him the thumbs up. The Gunners won't have it all their own way though as they face competition from fellow suitors Liverpool and Tottenham.
But even if they miss out on Huntelaar there are plenty of other names up Wenger's sleeve. The Mail says he will also bring in Thierry Henry on loan, make an initial offer of £9m for Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha and try to lure goalkeeper Pepe Reina from Liverpool.
However, Wenger could miss out on another of his major targets, Atletico Madrid star Adrian. The Spanish winger has become a target for several Premier League clubs because of a £14.4m buy-out clause in his contract, says TalkSport. However, his current employers, who are second in La Liga, are desperate to renegotiate his contract and agree a new deal that offers him better wages and removes the release clause.
The Metro claims that Robert Lewandowski had agreed to a £12m move to Manchester United. Citing sources in Germany, the paper says that the Premier League leaders have completed negotiations to bring the Polish striker to Old Trafford at the end of the season. Apparently Borussia Dortmund have agreed to the stunning move because they fear their star striker could otherwise leave on a free transfer when his contract expires in 2014.
It's a five-year deal and one that fulfils Lewandowski's long-held ambition to play in the Premier League. The 24-year-old frontman was linked with Arsenal earlier in the year but the Metro says he's chosen to hook up with former team-mate Shinji Kagawa at United.
Lewandowski, who has scored 19 games for Dortmund this season, has been coveted by Alex Ferguson for several months despite the summer acquisition of Robin van Persie.
Talksport reports that Liverpool are poised to "revive their long-standing interest" in Artem Milevskiy following Dynamo Kiev's decision to place the Ukraine forward on the transfer list. The 27-year-old Milevskiy is out of contract next summer and Dynamo are anxious to sell him in January in order that he doesn't do a runner in June on a free transfer.
Milevskiy, who's been capped over 50 times for his country, could move to Anfield for as little as £1.6m as Kiev look to wrap up a deal in the New Year transfer window. Talksport says that Liverpool manager has been monitoring Milevskiy since he took over on Merseyside and he views him as an ideal striking partner for Luis Suarez.
Fulham have dismissed suggestions that they could make a move for David Beckham, but the Cottagers appear more coy on the subject of Aston Villa striker Darren Bent. In conversation with the Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle, Fulham boss Martin Jol ruled out a move for Beckham, who played his last game for LA Galaxy at the weekend, saying it was "crazy" to think they'd make a bid for a 37-year-old.
However, asked about Bent, Jol, who coached the player at Tottenham, said: "You never know… we could do with maybe another creative player." Jol added that he saw Bent as a good foil to Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov.