Arsenal to make Sunzu and Cabaye top summer targets
Tough-tackling Zambian defender and Newcastle midfielder are both wanted at the Emirates
AFRICAN centre-half Stoppila Sunzu has caught the eye of Arsene Wenger. The Metro claims that the 23-year-old Zambia international, who has also been given the once-over this season by Sunderland and Reading, is set to be one of the Gunners' first summer signings.
Arsenal scouts were impressed with what they saw of Sunzu in the recent Africa Cup of Nations, and all that remains is to agree a fee with Congo club TP Mazembe. The Metro says Mazembe's demand for £4m was what scuppered the deal with Sunderland earlier in the season, but that Arsenal would be happy to stump up the sum for the tough-tackling defender.
The Gunners are also said to be lining up a bid for Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye as they seek to bolster their midfield in the summer. The Daily Express reports that Wenger has set aside £15m from his £70m warchest to bid for the Frenchman, who cost the Magpies less than £5m in the summer of 2011.
The paper reports that, as usual, Manchester United are interested in the player as well and that Alex Ferguson's scouting network have been running the rule over the player.
Newcastle are also worried about the future of another of their French stars, Hatem Ben Arfa, who is rumoured to have caught the eye of Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers.
According to the Mirror, Toon boss Alan Pardew is aware of Liverpool's interest but does not want to sell the winger, who has been injured for much of the season. Apparently he hopes that the influx of French talent at St James' Park, where the squad now includes ten players from across the channel, will persuade Ben Arfa to sign a contract extension.
With Chelsea's defence leaking more goals on Sunday during their defeat by Manchester City, the Daily Mail reports that the Blues are "weighing up a surprise move" for Everton and England left-back Leighton Baines. The 28-year-old has been a rock for the Toffees this season and apparently Chelsea see him as the man to harden up their defence next season.
The Mail says the news may come as a surprise to some, given that Ashley Cole has signed a year's extension to his Chelsea contract, but it's reported the Blues would have no compunction about partnering the pair, with the possibility of Baines slotting into a midfield role. Whether Everton would be willing to sell Baines is a moot point. The Mail claims that manager David Moyes won't entertain offers under £14m.
The Mirror says that Real Madrid are "eying up" Manchester United star Javier Hernandez with a big money summer move in the offing. The 24-year-old Mexican has been reduced to a bit-part player at Old Trafford this season following the arrival of Robin van Persie and, according to the Mirror, Real Madrid are monitoring Hernandez's "growing frustration" with his situation.
United manager Alex Ferguson values Hernandez as an important member of his squad but that hasn't stopped him scouting out Borussia Dortmund frontman Robert Lewandowski with a view to a summer purchase. The news has allegedly convinced Hernandez that he has no real future at the club and a move to the Bernabeu is his best option.
Across Manchester and the Sky Blues are said to be lining up a £54m offer for Napoli striker Edinson Cavani.
The Express says that Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is determined he won't miss out on a marquee summer signing, as he did last year when United signed Van Persie, and to that end he's been granted permission by the City board to break the bank as far as Cavani goes. The Express adds that City will sell Samir Nasri to help cover the costs of signing the South American hitman.
The People claims that Everton star Marouane Fellaini still has "a burning desire" to join Chelsea despite their recent travails. The Belgian midfielder has been linked with a move to the capital for months and he has now come clean and admitted the idea tickles his fancy. "Am I interested in Chelsea? It's normal, right."
However, Fellaini did add that "if a big club wants me, they will have to pay the price." And that, says the People, is going to be in the region of £20m.
Finally, The Sun says that England striker Darren Bent is being tracked by Turkish outfit Galatasaray. That will be sweet music to the ears of Bent, who's hardly featured for Aston Villa this season with manager Paul Lambert placing his faith instead in Christian Benteke.
The Sun claims Villa have agreed to offload Bent to Galatasaray in the summer in return for £10m as owner Randy Lerner looks to trim the club's wage bill.