Arsenal in pole position for Zaha deal, as keeper chase hots up

Dec 7, 2012
Bill Mann

Gunners 'confident' they can get Zaha in New Year and finally grab Liverpool goalie Pepe Reina

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NOT MUCH has gone right for Arsene Wenger lately but according to the Daily Mirror the Arsenal manager is in pole position to win the race to sign Wilfried Zaha.

The Crystal Palace "wonderkid", who made his England debut recently, has apparently been closely monitored by Arsenal scouts in the past few weeks and the reports given to Wenger have convinced him to make a January move for the 20-year-old forward. The Mirror claims that Zaha "is keen on a move to the Emirates", and it's reported that the Gunners have assembled a package in excess of £7m which they hope will be enough to land the rising star.

Though Palace manager Ian Holloway recently expressed his determination to hold on to Zaha, Arsenal are confident they can prise their man away in the New Year.

The Mirror also says that Arsenal are closing in on "long-term target" Pepe Reina, the Liverpool goalkeeper whose future has long been a source of speculation. Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers insists the Spaniard is very much part of his plans but Arsenal are determined to bring Reina to the Emirates as back-up to current first choice Wojciech Szczesny.

But if they can't get their hands on Reina there is a ready-made alternative on the market. Indeed, the Gunners' search for a new goalkeeper could come to an immediate end if they decide to sign long-term target Mickael Landreau, who has had his contract with French club Lille terminated with immediate effect, meaning he is now a free agent.

The 33-year-old French international left the Ligue 1 outfit after a bust-up with coach Rudi Garcia, says the Daily Star. And the paper notes that the stopper came close to joining Arsenal two years ago when the Gunners alsmost signed Fulham gloveman Mark Schwarzer.

Anderlecht star Dieumerci Mbokani has intimated that he won't be leaving Belgium unless something exceptional comes along in the way of a New Year offer. Both Fulham and Spurs have been linked to the DR Congo frontman in recent weeks as Mbokani continues to find the net for Anderlecht.

The 27-year-old, who moved from Standard Liege in 2011, has already scored 16 times this season and his eye for goal hasn't gone unnoticed in England.

But speaking to Belgium broadcaster, Mbokani pledged his loyalty, in a manner of speaking, to Anderlecht. "Unless an exceptional offer arrives in January, I will remain here until the end of the season," he explained. "I am doing well at Anderlecht and I will leave soon for the African Cup of Nations."

The Evening Standard reports that Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has warned England's finest that if they have designs on Michu it will cost them big money.

The 26-year-old Spanish sharpshooter (full name Miguel Pérez Cuesta) has been on fire since arriving in Wales from Rayo Vallecano in the summer. His brace against Arsenal in Swansea's 2-0 win at the weekend took his tally to 10 goals from 15 games for the Swans, and that's started a flurry of rumours suggesting one of the Premier League's big guns could come in with a January offer.

Swansea paid just £2m for Michu but Laudrup said the club would expect significantly more than that paltry figure. "I don't want to let him go. Sometimes the offer can be so big you have to accept but I really don't think clubs are going to pay so much money for him," said Laudrup, who then began brandishing around figures in excess of £15m. "I don't think anyone will come with that money so he will stay here," he added.

Finally, Talksport claims the Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi has met with Manchester City officials to chew over a possible move to the Etihad in the New Year. The 29-year-old is Rome born and bred, but recently rumours have emerged suggesting he's tiring of life in the Italian capital.

Talksport says that De Rossi jetted into London to meet City officials who have "held a long-standing interest" in the Italian international. But it's not quite as cut and dried as it seems, apparently, with Paris Saint-Germain also primed to make a bid for his services next month.

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