Real Madrid offer Arsenal target Higuain to Spurs as bait for Bale
New boss Carlo Ancelotti desperate to sign Welsh winger, and he could scupper Arsenal hopes
REAL MADRID have offered readies and players to Tottenham in the hope of welcoming new boss Carlo Ancelotti with the mother of all presents – Gareth Bale.
And The Times has news that will chill Arsenal fans to the core, reporting that the Gunners' number one transfer target, Gonzalo Higuain, is one of the players being offered to Spurs as a makeweight in the deal that will take Bale to the Bernabeu.
Arsenal fans have been waiting for Higuain to sign on the dotted line for almost a week, since it was reported that he had agreed personal terms with the Gunners.
There have been rumours that Juventus and Napoli were intent on scuppering the deal, and now there is a new threat. The Times says Higuain and Fabio Coentrao are being used as bait by the Spanish club's president Florentino Perez, who wants to exploit Tottenham's need for a striker and left back, and at the same time avoid paying £85m in cash for the Welsh winger.
Even more worrying for Gunners is that Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas is a fan of Higuain and tried to sign him in 2011, while the paper notes that Zinedine Zidane, the new Real coach, is an admirer of Bale so will push for the move.
The Daily Mirror has a different take on events. It agrees that Carlo Ancelotti is desperate to land Bale but suggests that another Argentine, Angel Di Maria, is the one on offer. However, it says he is only one of "several" stars that the Spanish giants are prepared to put on a plane to London if, in return, the 23-year-old Welshman touches down in Madrid.
In other news, the Daily Mail claims that Arsenal have been beaten to the hand of Benjamin Mendy by Sunderland of all clubs. Apparently the Black Cats have agreed a fee with French Ligue 2 club Le Havre for the £5m-rated left-back. Mendy had been scouted by Arsenal last season but the best the Gunners could offer was £2.5m. Sunderland doubled that figure and not surprisingly Le Havre said 'oui'. The 18-year-old France Under-19 defender was first linked to Arsenal two years ago and had also been watched this year by Juventus and Lyon.
Elsewhere and the Evening Standard reports that Chelsea's bid to make Vitesse Arnhem midfielder Marco van Ginkel their second signing of the summer has hit the Stamford Bridge buffers. The paper says it has it on good authority that the Blues remain some way from reaching an agreement with the Dutch club for the 20-year-old midfielder.
Earlier this week the Europa League champions snared Andre Schurrle from Bayer Leverkusen in an £18m deal, but it appears Vitesse have been playing hardball. They have already rejected an £8m offer from Chelsea for Van Ginkel and are determined to hold out for £15m. It's said Manchester United are also interested in Van Ginkel and his agent Karel Jansen is doing his best to keep everyone calm.
"A lot of things are being said and written and it's a bit chaotic," he said. "From our side we are just keeping quiet and we will see what happens."
One person not playing things so cool this summer is Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers. Already this summer he's snapped up a posse of players, his latest acquisition being Sunderland shotstopper Simon Mignolet. Now, according to Caughtoffside, Rodgers is readying himself to pounce for two more players.
The pair in question are Man City defender Micah Richards and Sunderland frontman Stephane Sessegnon. Richards is seen as the man to fill the gap left by Jamie Carragher, who retired at the end of last season, while centre-back Martin Skrtel is believed to be on his way out of Anfield. As a result Caughtoffside claims that Liverpool are willing to offer up to £8m for the 25-year-old Richards, who's found game time hard to come by at the Etihad.
As for Sessegnon, he's reportedly handed a transfer request to the Sunderland board and they are likely to sanction his move provided Liverpool meet their asking price of £8m.