Arsenal and Inter vie to sign Saints' Morgan Schneiderlin
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger ready to offer £10m for no-nonsense Southampton midfielder
HAVING beaten Tottenham in the race to secure qualification for next season's Champions League, Arsenal's next challenge is see off interest from Inter Milan for the hand of Morgan Schneiderlin.
According to Italy's Gazetta dello Sport, Inter are considering a bid for the 23-year old Southampton midfielder as they look to strengthen their side after a disappointing Serie A campaign. However, the fact that Inter won't be in the Champions League next season could be a decisive factor and it's believed Schneiderlin is tempted by the prospect of joining the Gunners.
Arsene Wenger is said to be ready to offer £10m for the Frenchman, who arrived at Southampton from Strasbourg in 2008 and has subsequently built a reputation as a no-nonsense defensive midfielder.
The Mirror says Chelsea are refusing to take no for an answer as far as Wayne Rooney is concerned. Though the hirsute hitman has reportedly asked for a transfer from Manchester United, the Premier League champions are adamant Rooney will remain at Old Trafford.
But according to the Mirror, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is prepared to pay over £30 million for the sulky striker who is also being chased by French outfit Paris Saint-Germain. Apparently a little bird at the Bridge chirped to the Mirror that Chelsea are "prepared to spend, big, big money on Rooney and they have told United that".
The Mirror adds that Arsenal have dropped out of the race because they haven't the finances to compete with their two rivals.
The source also disclosed that Jose Mourinho – expected to replace Rafa Benitez as coach in the summer – would love to have Rooney at the club because "he thinks he can get him back to his best and use him in a similar way to how Didier Drogba operated for Chelsea."
Perhaps one reason Chelsea are so cocky about getting their hands on Rooney is because they're about to sell Fernando Torres. The hit-and-miss striker, who scored for the Blues in last week's Europa Cup final victory, has found goals harder to come by in the Premier League.
Now, according to The Sun, Torres will be sold in the summer by Mourinho with the Blues "set to take a £30 million hit" on the player they bought from Liverpool in 2011 for £50m.
The Sun doesn't venture to say where the 29-year-old Torres might be going, though he's been linked with a £20m move back to Spain in recent weeks. But the paper does say Mourinho has a couple of replacements in mind – and Rooney isn't one of them. Rather, it will be Napoli sharpshooter Edinson Cavani and Bayer Leverkusen's Andre Schurrle who arrive in west London.
Another player who has been tipped as a possible Blue for much of the past year is Radamel Falcao, though the The People would have us believe the Atletico Madrid striker will become Manchester City's first signing "of the Manuel Pellegrini era".
The tabloid says the two clubs have already agreed a deal for the Colombian netbuster, one that will set a British record transfer. It seems that City have met the £54 million buy-out clause in Falcao's contract and the 27-year-old South American is looking forward to working with Pellegrini. He's probably also looking forward to taking home £200,000 each week, allegedly what his wages will be at City.
Meanwhile the arrival of Falcao spells the end of the road for Carlos Tevez as a Sky Blue with the Mirror claiming he's a target for Juventus, along with Real Madrid ace Gonzalo Higuain.
Juve's sporting director, Beppe Marotta, is quoted as saying: "I have to say that Higuain is a bit younger and has a higher market value. Tevez on the other hand has a year left on his contract so maybe between the two, the Tevez deal is easier."