Arsenal set sights on Stevan Jovetic as Spurs face Bale fight
Club has change of heart after realising Lamps can still score goals – but Fernando Torres is history
HAVING failed to land David Villa of Barcelona in the January transfer window and now facing the prospect of a battle for his signature with Atletico Madrid in the summer, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has reportedly set his sights on a different striker.
Today the Mirror claims that youthful Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic has replaced the ageing Spanish hitman in Wenger's affections.
The Gunners have had the Montenegro international in their sights for some time and he was on their wanted list last month, along with Villa, Demba Ba, Adrian Lopez and Edinson Cavani. The Mirror suggests that now the transfer window is closed Arsenal have had time to consider their options and have decided that Jovetic will be their priority in the summer.
The Mirror don't put a price on the player's head, but Caughtoffside says he will set Arsenal back around £25m.
Over at Spurs and Andre Villas-Boas has admitted that Spurs are lucky to have Gareth Bale, but says that he might be on his way to Real Madrid unless the Lilywhites finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League.
He told The Guardian that Bale's future was "intimately related" to Spurs' success this season, and the paper says that the Bernabeu outfit are readying a big money move for the player in the summer.
Chelsea are in discussions with Frank Lampard about the possibility of extending his stay at Stamford Bridge in what the Daily Mail calls a "shock U-turn" brought about by owner Roman Abramovich's sudden realisation that the veteran midfielder still has some miles on the clock.
Lampard has scored 10 goals this season for the Blues and got the winner for England against Brazil in Wednesday's 2-1 victory at Wembley.
The Mail claims that Lampard, who hits 35 this summer, was told by the Blues before Christmas that he wouldn't be offered a new contract when his current one expires in May. As a result, Manchester United, LA Galaxy and Paris Saint-Germain have all been mooted as likely destinations.
Now, says the Mail, Chelsea have had a "dramatic change of heart" and will offer Lampard a one-year extension, in keeping with their policy for players on the wrong side of 30.
The about-turn is said to have left the player "stunned". Then again, Frank might be just as stunned if he picks up today's Sun, because it carries an "exclusive" claiming that he won't be offered a new deal.
"Nothing has changed regarding Frank's situation at Chelsea," the paper quotes agent Steve Kutner as saying. Kutner adds that there have been no discussions about a new deal and nor have any been scheduled in the near future.
As a result, says the Sun, Lampard is "mulling over" several lucrative offers from America, China and the Middle East – and England, too - before announcing his decision in a few weeks.
One Chelsea player who does appear to be on his way out is striker Fernando Torres. Since signing from Liverpool two years ago Torres has endured a miserable time at the Bridge but the agony might soon be over.
Talksport claims that Italian side Fiorentina are "plotting an audacious bid" for the 28-year-old in the summer. Apparently the club's technical director, Eduardo Macia, is "confident" of attracting him to Florence despite his wage demands.
Talksport goes on to say that Fiorentina will look to cut a similar deal with Chelsea to the one they struck with Liverpool over Alberto Aquilani. In that situation Fiorentina got the player but the Reds still paid a share of Aquilani's wages.
The Metro says that Atletico Madrid are "lining up a summer swoop" for Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea. The Spanish outfit sold de Gea to the Red Devils in 2011 for £18m, but things haven't gone well for the shotstopper at Old Trafford and now Atletico are poised to take him back.
The Metro says the deal will depend on whether United can prise Asmir Begovic from Stoke City at the end of the season. If Begovic does indeed leave the Potters for United then Alex Ferguson will agree to hand de Gea back to Atletico.