Arsenal rebel Walcott wants to follow RVP to Man Utd
Arsenal face more bids for winger and must fight United for 6ft 3in defender Jonathan Tah
AS IF things weren't bad enough for Arsenal at the moment, the latest rumour doing the rounds is that Theo Walcott is set to follow in the footsteps of arch-villain Robin van Persie and quit the Emirates to join Manchester United.
The Daily Mail reports that Alex Ferguson has joined the race to tempt the 23-year-old winger/striker away from London and that his sudden interested has radically altered the landscape of Walcott's future.
Liverpool were expected to make an offer for the unsettled England international in January, but the Mail says Walcott would jump at the chance to head to Manchester and reprise his partnership with Van Persie. With the 23-year-old so far refusing to agree a contract extension with the Gunners Arsene Wenger may decide to offload him in January for as little as £8m rather than watch him walk away for free in the summer.
The only silver lining for Arsenal fans is that it could, at least, smooth the way for a swap deal involving Nani.
Another battle appears to be looming between Arsenal and Manchester United over German wunderkid Jonathan Tah. According to Talksport, the 16-year-old defender is being monitored by both clubs even though he has yet to make a first-team appearance for Hamburg.
The centre-back, who is of Ivorian descent, has played for Germany at Under-17 level but he could yet decide to turn out for the Ivory Coast.
It was during the FIFA Under-17 world championship last autumn that Tah caught the eye of Arsenal and United scouts, both being impressed with his rock-solid defending skills. Standing 6ft 3in despite his tender age, Tah is contracted to Hamburg until 2014 yet a big money offer could persuade the Bundesliga club to part with him.
Still with the Gunners and the Metro claims that they've been told to "forget" about signing Schalke frontman Klass Jan Huntelaar during the January transfer window. Rumours have been doing the rounds in recent weeks suggesting the 29-year-old Dutch striker is on his way to the Emirates in the New Year, but that's not going to happen according to Schalke. "These stories are nothing more than rumours," fumed Schalke general manager Horst Heldt. "As of today, I have not heard anything from any club."
Schalke remain hopeful that Huntelaar will sign on for another term when his contract expires at the end of the season, but the Metro says sources in Holland indicate he wants to take up the challenge of playing in the Premier League.
Italian rag La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that highly-rated Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen has given his first hint that a move to England could be on the cards some time next year. The 20-year-old playmaker has dazzled this season for Ajax, prompting a rash of clubs to make polite enquiries to the Dutch champions. Manchester United, Liverpool and AC Milan are among the interested parties apparently, and it appears Eriksen's head has been turned by the amount of interest in his prodigious talent.
"I think that my future lies in England, Germany, Italy or Spain," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I will leave Ajax at one point, but I want to leave at the right moment and in the right way. I do not know what I will do in a few months' time yet, but I want to leave my mark before moving on."
Finally, the Daily Mirror claims that there will be a mini-upheaval at Anfield in the New Year with Joe Cole likely to be off-loaded and two new additions to the Liverpool squad introduced - Daniel Sturridge and Tom Ince. The Reds will fork out a total of £18m to buy frontman Sturridge from Chelsea and 20-year-old Ince from Blackpool.
The young winger, son of former Manchester United legend Paul Ince, is highly regarded, as Cole once was. But the 31-year-old has seen his star wane in recent seasons and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers hinted that he's soon for the chop. "Joe's a terrific lad and I feel for him at times," said Rodgers. "Players are about game time and money. He's a good guy, though - he's not any kind of problem."