Arsenal tempt Walcott with £26m deal... is Negredo next?
Gunners' frontman expected to get £90,000 weekly over five years plus a £3m 'signing on' fee
IT LOOKS like Arsenal and Theo Walcott will remain an item - it just depends on your choice of newspaper as to the finer points of their new agreement.
The Sun says the Gunners will make a £26 million offer to the 23-year-old winger in the next 48 hours in the hope of ending months of uncertainty over Walcott's future. The paper says the deal will give him a £90,000-a-week salary over five years and a £3m signing-on fee "to take the overall package to £26.4 million".
The Daily Mirror agrees that Walcott is on the brink of signing on for another stint at the Emirates but calculates the deal is worth only £25m. Whatever, the new improved contract will still earn the England star considerably more than the £50,000 a week he currently receives – a lowly salary, in Walcott's view, in light of his prolific goal-scoring form this season.
Elsewhere and there is little sign that the January transfer window has actually opened, with nary a decent whisper to be heard.
The Evening Standard is reduced to speculating that the capital's three main clubs, Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal, could be interested in Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo. The paper says that the striker, valued at £18m, has said he "wouldn't mind" playing abroad one day and has spoken to the likes of Juan Mata and Ferdnando Torres about life in London.
The paper also points out that all three clubs would be interested in adding to their striking options, but that hardly makes it a done deal. Transfer Talk will happily stand corrected when a bidding war erupts around the 27-year-old Spanish international.
The Daily Mail says that Blackpool starlet Thomas Ince is set to follow in the footsteps of his father, Paul, and sign for Liverpool. The Reds had offered £4.75m for the England Under-21 international, but his current club want £7m. But the Mail reports that there has been a "breakthrough" and a deal is now imminent.
Talksport reports that Inter Milan have "opened talks" with the agent of Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko over a possible move to the San Siro.
The Bosnian frontman joined the Sky Blues in a £27m move from Wolfsburg two years ago. Though his strike rate has been adequate it's alleged that Dzeko isn't happy with playing second fiddle to Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez.
With Inter reportedly offering him the chance to be a regular starter for them, Talksport says the Serie A club are in the early stages of negotiations with Dzeko's people. If they're serious about swooping for the 26-year-old frontman they probably won't get much change out of £30m.
The Evening Standard claims that Emmanuel Adebayor's decision to play for Togo in this month's Africa Cup of Nations has prompted Spurs to "renew their interest" in long-term target Leandro Damiao.
The Lilywhites were first linked to the Brazilian striker last year. While unsuccessful initially, their impressive league form could help clinch a deal in the next three weeks.
The Standard says Spurs intend to offer Internacional £15m for the 23-year-old but warns any deal could be a "complicated one to complete". As is common in Brazil there is third-party ownership involved in Damiao and Spurs will have to win over other investors and not just Internacional if they want to land their man before the transfer window slams shut at the end of this month.
The Metro says Liverpool are close to completing a deal for Lazio defender Modibo Diakite. Lazio are keen to do a deal this month rather than see the 25-year-old leave on a free when his contract expires at the end of this season. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has reportedly identified the 6ft 3in Diakite as the successor to veteran defender Jamie Carragher.