Sakho hints at Arsenal move but Wenger prefers Capoue

Feb 7, 2013
Bill Mann

French defender issues 'come-and-get-me' plea but the Gunners want a midfielder

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GAGGING to be a Gunner, that's Mamadou Sakho right now, according to the Metro. The paper claims that the "Arsenal target" has "made a come-and-get-me plea" after growing tired of his bit-part role at Paris Saint-Germain.

The 22-year-old French defender (above) is increasingly concerned over his lack of first-team action for the Paris outfit and fears that if he doesn't put himself in the shop window he might miss out on the French squad for next year's World Cup.

"I need to be playing week in, week out,' said Sakho, who's won 11 caps for France. Asked what he intends to do to remedy the situation, Sakho said: "I will sit down with my agent and club officials and clear up the situation [but] I adore the Premier League."

That declaration will be music to the ears of Arsenal, who have been long-term admirers of Sakho. But the Metro claims that Newcastle and Manchester City are also eyeing up the strapping 6ft 2in Parisian powerhouse.

However, the Daily Telegraph says a defender is not one of Wenger's priorities and claims that the Arsenal boss is more concerned about his options in midfield and up front. The paper also reveals that after failing with a bid for Etienne Capoue of Toulouse in January the Gunners will try and land him in the summer.

The combative 24-year-old French international would fill the void in the Arsenal squad left by the departure of Alex Song, who joined Barcelona in the summer but was recently voted joint worst signing of the season (along with Luka Modric) by fans in Spain.

The Telegraph claims that Wenger could have a kitty of £70m at the end of the season, and wants to bring in one or two young players of established quality. However, if the current squad fail to get the Gunners into the Champions League, his options in the transfer market will be severely limited.

Still with Arsenal and the Italian paper Tuttosport reports that the Gunners are still in with a shout of signing Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic in the summer. The club's former owner, Ranieri Pontello, told the paper that he thinks the Serie A side should cash in their chips while the Montenegro international is still one of the hottest properties around.

"I would be in favour of a sale if a notable offer is put on the table," declared Pontello. "With the money they can get from Jovetic, [Fiorentina] could move really well in the market."

Juventus are Arsenal's biggest rivals for the hand of Jovetic, but Chelsea have also been linked to the 23-year-old hitman in recent months. Following the sale of Mario Balotelli to AC Milan last week, however, speculation has been growing that Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini might be planning a summer swoop.

Talksport reports that Brazil star Paulinho will move to Europe this summer. The Corinthians midfielder, a member of the sorry Brazil side that slumped to defeat against England on Wednesday night, is being courted by Chelsea, a club who've had their fair share of sorry defeats this season.

But there are also several Italian clubs interested in signing the 24-year-old and at least one is alleged to have made an unsuccessful bid in last month's transfer window. According to Talksport, Kia Joorabchian, whose company represents the South American Samba Boy, believes a move will be agreed in June.

"Paulinho sees his future in Europe," Joorabchian told the broadcaster. "He'll end up at a big club. He's already been linked to Inter Milan, AC Milan and various clubs in England. Now it's up to him to decide where he wants to play, whether that's in England, Italy or Spain."

Finally, Spanish rag AS claims that Cristiano Ronaldo will decide his future at the end of the season. Rumours have been circulating for months that the former Manchester United frontman wants out of Real Madrid, and it appears he's heading for a showdown with the board in the summer.

PSG are favourites to sign the 28-year-old, but Ronaldo was giving nothing away in discussion with AS. "We'll talk at the end of the season," Ronaldo said when asked about his situation. "The renewal is a subject that I do not want to talk about and that I do not care about now."

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I have to admire your dogged mindness to continue speculating on transfers, that too immediately after the window has closed.