Alexis Sanchez puts big guns on alert, Fabregas turns back on Arsenal

Feb 14, 2013
Bill Mann

Man Utd, City and Chelsea on 'red alert' for Chilean after Barcelona nightmare, but Fab won't quit

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SPECULATION is growing that a ding-dong battle is brewing for the services of Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez. According to Talksport, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City are all on "red alert" for the Chilean sharpshooter.

Back in 2011 there were rumours linking the 24-year-old to all three clubs but in the end Sanchez chose Barcelona in a £22m deal with Udinese. But his move to the Camp Nou has turned into a nightmare, with the South American failing to establish himself with the Spanish giants.

Now it appears likely he'll be offloaded in the summer and that's pricked up the ears of the Premier League trio. But Talksport warns that Juventus are also circling and could make a "big-money offer" in the hope of sealing the deal before a bidding war breaks outs.

Sticking with Barcelona and one of the Catalan club's stars has announced that he is doing just that, news that won't be well received by Arsene Wenger. Former Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas has told Spanish media that he intends to end his career at the Camp Nou, ending hopes that he would one day return to the Emirates.

Metro notes that there had been rumours his contract with Barca featured a clause that allowed him to rejoin Arsenal if he was ever put up for sale. But Fabregas has scotched that idea by pledging to stay until he retires.

One Arsenal old-boy who is keen to return to the Emirates is Thierry Henry. He has revealed that he would be open to an Arsenal return once his stint in America is over.

He will be 37 by the time that happens so the chances of him making a return as a player appear slim. But he told the Daily Mail: "All I know is that I will be involved in the game for sure and hopefully be involved with Arsenal because that is the heart talking there, that’s the team that I support. Forget about me as a player, that’s the team I support."

A younger prospect for Arsenal is 22-year-old Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Sebastian Rode, who is entering the final 18-months of his contract with the German club and is already on the radar of Bayern Munich. Tribal Football said the player was aware of the interest of two of Euope's biggest clubs but was remaining calm. "I'll keep my feet on the ground and not start dreaming," said Rode.

Serbian rag Sportski Zurnal says that Partizan Belgrade winger Lazar Markovic was in London last week and he wasn't there to take in the Tate Modern. Rather, the 18-year-old frontman was at Stamford Bridge and it's believed he was discussing a possible move to Chelsea for next season.

Quizzed about his escapade, Markovic came clean: "It's true, I was in London, I made a trip to town and I was also at Stamford Bridge," he told Sportski Zurnal. "I met some people from the club, but there's nothing else [to say]."

Markovic, who made his Serbian debut last year, was first linked to the Blues in the summer and his form for Partizan this season has done nothing to diminish his burgeoning reputation.

West Ham's hopes of landing Ivory Coast ace Wilfried Bony have taken a hit after the 24-year-old admitted he has his heart set on joining a Russian club. Obviously motivated by the quality and prestige of the Russian league – and not at all by the riches on offer – the Vitesse Arnhem player signalled his intent to snub the Hammers. "I hope to leave this winter, my wishes have not changed," he told Dutch magazine Voetbal International.

The Russian transfer window closes in ten days' time, a fact not lost on Bony. "The market is not open in Russia for much longer. But... I can only work and wait. I hope that one chance emerges."

Bony has scored 18 goals in 19 league outings this season for Vitesse and was linked last month with Chelsea, Newcastle and Liverpool. West Ham were then rumoured to be keen to take him on loan for the rest of the season but the Hammers have no chance of matching the wages Bony could earn in Russia with a club such as Anzhi.

Finally, the Daily Mail claims that Manchester City will embark on a "£60 million-plus overhaul of their squad" in the summer with Napoli's Edinson Cavani and Celtic's Victor Wanyama top of the Sky Blues' shopping list.

Manager Roberto Mancini and football director Txiki Begiristain have been in initial talks to freshen up the squad, and the Mail says Cavani is likely to replace Carlos Tevez, who is expected to return to Argentina at the end of the season. There have been rumours in recent days linking Wanyama to Arsenal but City are expected to outbid their Premier League rivals for the 21-year-old and bring him to the Etihad in a £10m deal.

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