Arsenal chase strikers Alain Traore and Stevan Jovetic
Injury scuppered Traore deal in January – but Wenger still wants the Burkina Faso forward
WITH the New Year transfer window firmly closed, thoughts are already turning to the summer market and, according to the Metro, Arsenal know who they’ll be chasing come June - Lorient striker Alain Traore.
Apparently the Gunners had hoped to bring him to the Emirates last month after sending scouts several times to watch the Burkina Faso player give a string of eye-catching performances in the French first division. But a thigh injury scuppered the deal at the 11th hour.
Traore only moved to Lorient from Auxerre last year but the Metro says the French club is willing to sell the 25-year-old once he's fully fit again - provided Arsenal meet their asking price of £5m.
Meanwhile Caughtoffside claims that Arsenal are "ready to break the club transfer record" if it means landing Fiorentina frontman Stevan Jovetic. It's reported that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been in touch with the Italian club and been told that the former Partizan Belgrade player could be his if he stumps up £21m.
Wenger held off making an approach in January because he was expecting to buy Traore. Chelsea are also said to be keen on Jovetic, who’s netted in eight of his 17 starts this season, but he is tipped to go to the Emirates.
The Mirror says that Manchester City will be having a summer clear-out in order to lower their wage bill and among those heading for the Etihad exit are Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko, Samir Nasri, Joleon Lescott and Scott Sinclair.
Tevez has made no secret of the fact he misses his native Argentina and City have apparently put out the word that "they will listen to offers".
Dzeko and Nasri are expected to fetch big fees after the Sky Blues decided that neither has lived up to their billing, while Lescott has always been undervalued by City boss Roberto Mancini. Sinclair joined City last summer from Swansea but has hardly been seen in action and the striker is tipped to return to Wales.
Some of the money that City make from selling their deadwood will be used to buy Napoli star striker Edinson Cavani. That’s what the Daily Star claims at least, saying City will go head-to-head with Paris Saint-Germain in a "sensational £40 million shoot-out" for the Uruguay ace.
The French club, who last week unveiled David Beckham as their latest recruit, now have their heart set on the 25-year-old Cavani. But City see the South American as the man to spearhead next season’s campaign and they're willing to break the bank to bring him to Manchester.
The Star says that PSG director of football Leonardo held talks with Cavani’s agents last month but that Mancini has gone the City's board saying they should to bid whatever it takes to snare Cavani.
Finally, the Mirror says Manchester United will have to pay Stoke City £15m for Asmir Begovic as the Potters "dig in" over the sale of their gloveman. United manager Alex Ferguson wants the Bosnian keeper to replace bungling David de Gea but Stoke are determined to make a mint on the man they discovered at Portsmouth.
The Mirror says Chelsea were knocked back a year ago by Stoke when they offered £12m for Begovic, and the Midlands club is now playing "hardball" with United.