Arsenal 'desperate' for David Villa, Serge Aurier to replace Sagna?
Wenger keen to get Toulouse starlet on board, Fabregas tipped for Arsenal comeback... one day
ARSENAL may have given up hope of landing a trophy this season but the Gunners apparently still believe they can prise David Villa from Barcelona. That's the good news for the Arsenal faithful, who on Sunday saw their boys go down 2-0 at home to Manchester City. The bad news is that according to the Metro, the Gunners will have to wait until the summer before launching an official bid.
Citing Spanish rag El Mundo Deportivo as its source, the Metro says Arsenal are still "desperate" to sign Villa but manager Arsene Wenger has baulked at the thought of forking out £12 million for a 31-year-old. It's believed Wenger will wait until June before making his formal approach, by which time he thinks Barcelona might be willing to lower their price – if they haven't already sold him elsewhere.
The Metro says £8m is the figure Arsenal have in mind, although a compromise is likely to be reached which would see Villa moving to the Emirates in a £10m deal.
Talking of Barcelona stars, what are the chances that Cesc Fabregas will return to London? Quite high according to Arsene Wenger, who has been telling Metro that he thinks the Spaniard will one day come back to the team he left in 2011.
"He's an Arsenal man. He loves Arsenal. He watches every Arsenal game," said the Gunners boss. However, he won't be coming back for at least four years according to Wenger - and by then the Gunners' trophy drought could be 12 years old.
Back in the real world and the Gunners could be set for yet more January disappointment as Manchester City move closer to signing Derby County youngster Will Hughes. Not content with beating Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday Roberto Mancini is now set to get one over on them off the field as well.
City deputy David Platt watched the 17-year-old midfielder, who has also attracted interest from Arsenal and Spurs, in action against Brighton on Sunday and the champions are now hopeful of agreeing a deal before the transfer window closes, according to the Daily Mail.
Still with the Gunners and the Mirror reports that they are eyeing up Serge Aurier as a replacement for the increasingly erratic Bacary Sagna. The 20-year-old Aurier plays his football at Toulouse in the south of France and was first linked to Arsenal earlier in the season.
The right-back was born in the Ivory Coast but has French citizenship and, according to the Mirror, has yet to decide which country he will commit to. Arsenal are hopeful he'll be committing to them in the near future as speculation increases that Sagna will leave London before the end of the month.
Maintaining the French theme, broadcaster RMC Sport claims that Newcastle and Marseille have struck a deal for striker Loic Remy. The 26-year-old French international has long been linked with a move across the Channel and it appears he's bound for the Magpies.
"We have an agreement in principle with Newcastle, it is true," Marseille president Vincent Labrune told French radio station RMC. "We have therefore given Loic permission to chat with them. For the rest, we must wait patiently." It's believed Newcastle will pay £9.25m for Remy in what is a long-term deal.
The Daily Mail says Chelsea might be about to miss a trick with Radamel Falcao after the Atletico Madrid striker professed his love for all things French.
The South American has been tailed by Chelsea for months but Paris Saint-Germain are also interested, and the French outfit have the financial clout to match the Blues. So if it all comes down to a personal choice, it seems the City of Love will win out over London. "France is a marvellous country," Falcao told Telefoot. "I've been there before, and I love it."
And the flattery didn't stop there. Asked what he thought of PSG, Falco gushed: "PSG have a very ambitious sporting project and they've invested a huge amount of money to construct a competitive team."
Still, it's not all bad news for the Blues. The Express says that they may soon be shot of striker Fernando Torres with the paper claiming that its man in Spain has told them Atletico Madrid "will offer their prodigal son the chance to return to the scene of his former glories" with a big money move.
Torres rose to prominence at Atletico and it may be that the club, having sold Falcao to PSG, will invest the money in bringing Torres back to Madrid. Torres has made no secret of the fact he still harbours a soft spot for Atletico and if the money is right Chelsea will probably offload the goalshy Spaniard.