Arsenal scout Celtic star Victor Wanyama and want Dani Alves
Arsene Wenger must choose between Kenyan Wanyama and Frenchman Etienne Capoue
SCOUTS from Arsenal ventured north yesterday to weigh up Celtic's Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama. The Daily Mail says a "senior Gunners scout" was dispatched to Parkhead for the Champions League clash against Juventus, a match the Bhoys lost 3-0.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is still apparently dithering over whether to make a play for Wanyama in the summer. Aware that he could do with a strapping defensive midfielder to offer some protection to the fleet-footed but fragile skills of Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla, Wenger is torn between the 21-year-old Wanyama and Toulouse star Etienne Capoue.
Wanyama, who inspired Celtic to their win over Barcelona in November, has also been linked to Manchester United as a possible replacement for ageing duo Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.
Various reports in Europe are suggesting that Arsene Wenger will try and lure Barcelona full back Dani Alves to the Emirates in the summer as he offloads Bacary Sagna, who has made it clear he does not intend to extend his contract with the Gunners when it expires in 2014.
The website Sambafoot says that while Arsenal do have a replacement for Sagna on their books in the form of Carl Jenkinson, Wenger does not believe he is quite ready to take over as number one at the Emirates, hence his interest in bringing in Alves, who has fallen out of favour with Barca boss Tito Vilanova.
Having already robbed the Premier League of its most entertaining asset, Mario Balotelli, AC Milan are determined to prevent any English clubs getting their hands on their other prized striker, Stephan El Shaarawy.
The young Italian forward, whose haircut alone would provide almost as much hilarity as Balotelli, is rumoured to be in the sights of both Manchester City and Arsenal. But TalkSport reports that the 20-year-old, who has 17 goals to his name so far this season, is close to agreeing a new deal at the San Siro that will tie him to Milan until 2018.
Tottenham are a step nearer to signing Pablo Daniel Osvaldo after it was reported Roma will offload the striker at the end of the season "after a bust-up with club legend Francesco Totti". Talksport says Osvaldo, who has long been on Tottenham's radar, is now poised to quit the Serie A side after an explosive confrontation with Totti during Sunday's 3-1 loss to Sampdoria.
When Roma were awarded a penalty Osvaldo refused to let Totti - the side's regular penalty taker – take the spot-kick, but then fluffed the kick to make himself look a complete ass. Apparently it was the final straw for Roma and Osvaldo will be jettisoned in June, great news for Spurs, according to Talksport, who are supposedly still desperate to sign the "highly-rated frontman" despite his alleged attitude problem.
Italian website TuttoMercatoWeb reports that Iceland ace Alfred Finnbogason is angling for a move to Manchester United. Currently strutting his stuff for Heerenveen, the 24-year-old striker has been consistently linked with the Premier League leaders in recent weeks.
Aston Villa have also expressed an interest in Finnbogason, scorer of 16 league goals in 19 games this season, but understandably he has no intention of joining that particular sinking ship. Instead he told TuttoMercatoWeb: "My biggest dream is to one day become a Manchester United player. This is the club I have been a fan of since I was five years old. I'm still a big fan of United."
Speculation is growing that United will make a move for Finnbogason at the end of the season as Alex Ferguson looks to strengthen his striking options at Old Trafford.
Finally, some terrifying news for Arsenal fans - and, no, we're not talking about Gervinho's return to the Emirates after his Africa Cup of Nations duty. It's far worse than that.
According to the Evening Standard, the worst player ever to wear an Arsenal shirt is threatening to wreak more havoc on the club next season. Bungling Brazilian left-back Andre Santos was shipped out to Gremio at the start of the week in a loan move that put a smile on the face of every red-blooded Gooner. Now Santos has told the Standard he still sees himself as an Arsenal player. "Do I have a future at the club? For sure," said Santos. "This is a loan deal and after this season we will see where everything stands."
Santos made just 13 league starts for the Gunners in 18 months but he still has two years remaining on his Arsenal contract and in words that will send a shiver down the spine of every fans he said: "I always wanted to stay here until the end of my contract. This is a club where I feel comfortable and honoured to play."
Santos also revealed that when he left Arsenal last week he did so with "a hug" from Arsene Wenger. It's known as a hug of relief, Andre.