Arsenal hatch 'secret' deal to sign Stephan El Shaarawy
AC Milan striker is out of favour and could agree to £25m Emirates move ahead of World Cup
FRENCH broadcaster Le 10 Sport claims that Arsenal have been operating under the radar and are now close to clinching a deal for AC Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy.
The 20-year-old Italian international has been frozen out of the San Siro this season under coach Massimiliano Allegri, and as a result he is open to reigniting his career at the Emirates. It's claimed the Gunners have been involved in "secret" talks with AC Milan and a deal is all but agreed, with Arsenal prepared to hand over £25m in return for El Shaarawy .
Despite finishing last season as Milan's top scorer, with 19 goals, El Shaarawy has played second fiddle this season to Robinho, Mario Balotelli and Alessandro Matri, and Le 10 say he's desperate to get regular game time in order to ensure he's a member of Italy's World Cup squad next summer. With Arsenal Wenger equally anxious to shore up his strike force, taking some of the pressure of Olivier Giroud, a move for El Shaarawy would be in everyone's interests.
It's all go at Anfield today, as the Daily Mail says that Liverpool are hoping to poach FC Basel winger Mohamed Salah from Tottenham. The 21-year-old Egyptian caught the eyes of the Premier League pair with his performance against Chelsea in the Champions League last month, and Spurs boss Andre Villas Boas has been monitoring Salah ever since with a view to making a £15m offer in January. But the Mail claims that Liverpool will outbid Spurs in the New Year as they beef up their squad for the Premier League title run-in.
Brendan Rodgers is increasingly bullish about his chances of retaining the services of Luis Suarez into next year and beyond. Liverpool's early-season form would indicate that the Uruguayan may well achieve his dream of playing in the Champions League with the Reds.
The Liverpool boss told Metro: "This is the place for Luis. I still maintain that even if we were in mid-table this would be the place for him to be because this is a massive club – a global institution."
Anfield is not the place for defender Daniel Agger, however, unless he can win a place in the starting line-up, says the Daily Express. After falling behind Kolo Toure, Mamadou Sakho and Martin Skrtel, the Danish international, once linked with Barcelona, announced: “I’m here to play football, nothing else. So if I don’t play football, then I don’t want to be here.”
One man who did walk out on Liverpool is Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso, but he is now being linked with a return to the Premier League, but under the management of his former Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho. The Independent says that he will be offered a three-year deal at Chelsea, when his contract at the Bernabeu expires at the end of the season.
Elsewhere and Talksport reports that Wilfried Zaha could leave Old Trafford on loan in January. The 20-year-old was the last signing made by Alex Ferguson during his reign at Manchester United but new gaffer David Moyes has yet to be won over by the former Crystal Palace winger. "I just don't think we have had the right opportunity to get him on as much as would have liked," Moyes told the United website. "We don't want to put him in too quickly. We want to make it the right time."
That time might be against Norwich in tomorrow's League Cup clash but Moyes admitted he may decide to loan out Zaha in the New Year if he still can't find a place for him in the United set-up. "It's not that Wilf has done anything wrong, it's just that we have big competition and we have to try to make sure he gets some playing time," said Moyes. "Unfortunately, we haven't done that with Wilf and, if it's still the case in January, we would look at [a loan]. But he is very much in my plans and in my thoughts all the time."
Former Chelsea and Arsenal midfielder Yossi Benayoun is in the thoughts of QPR boss Harry Redknapp, says Metro, with the latter waiting to hear if the Israeli international fancies a trial at Loftus Road. Since being released by Chelsea at the end of last season, the 33-year-old has been looking for employment. "Someone rang me about him a week ago and I said I'd be interested enough to look at him and see how he looks," said Redknapp. "But I haven't heard anything more." QPR are currently third in the Championship but it appears that's not good enough for the ageing Benayoun.