Arsenal face Morata snub, but Wenger drops Draxler hint

Jan 17, 2014
Bill Mann

Real Madrid deal looks unlikely, but Gunners 'curious' about German star, Chelsea line up £10m defender

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JANUARY might be a "low key" month for transfers in the eyes of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, but that has not stopped the gossip mongers. The possibility of a loan deal for young Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata has been the big talking point so far this month, with contradictory stories about the likelihood of a deal swirling like confetti.

And today is no different. There's grim news for the Gunners from Caughtoffside, which insists that Arsenal's planned loan move for the striker is in "danger of collapsing" after coach Carlo Ancelotti changed his mind on shipping him overseas.

In recent days rumours have been gathering pace that the Premier League leaders were moving in on the Spain Under-21 international with a view to signing him on a six-month deal. But Caughtoffside claims that Ancelotti "had a late change of heart regarding the striker" and he will now keep hold him for the rest of the season.

Or will he? The Daily Express paints a rather different picture, claiming that Morata could be on his way out of Madrid for good. However, the paper says that his destination is likely to be Italy, and quotes local media as claiming that both Juventus and Inter Milan are planning bids of £11m for the 21-year-old.

Wenger used his Friday press conference to claim that the Gunners were "not close to signing anybody" this month, but did drop in a tasty treat by admitting he was "curious" about the prospect of signing German forward Julian Draxler, who the Gunners have been chasing for some time, reports Metro.

The 20-year-old Schalke midfielder is out until March with an ankle injury, but there have been rumours that the Gunners will make an offer of £30m this month.

Another player constantly linked with a move to Arsenal has been former Chelsea man, Salomon Kalou. However, the Daily Mail believes that the Lille midfielder could be on his way back to the Premier League, but not with the Gunners. Instead, says the paper, he will pledge his troth to Spurs. He was expected to hold talks in London about a move today.

Having tied up the £21m transfer of Nemanja Matic on Wednesday, Chelsea are now on the brink of adding Saint-Etienne defender Kurt Zouma to their squad, apparently confirming that the Blues don't give a tinker's cuss for Uefa's imminent Financial Fair Play regulations.

According to the Evening Standard, the 19-year-old Zouma has been linked to Arsenal and the two Manchester clubs in recent weeks, but it's Chelsea poised to win his hand.

Currently serving a 10-match ban in France for a wild tackle on Sochaux's Thomas Guerbert, the temperamental teenager told French sports daily L'Equipe: "There has been an advanced contact. At first I thought it was a joke. But I quickly took [Jose Mourinho's] call seriously."

Asked if he was going to take up Mourinho's alleged offer, Zouma replied: "I will always take Chelsea. I loved this club since childhood and blue is my favourite colour. In my head, it is clear: I want a change. When going abroad, it's make or break. But it is a risk worth taking."

The Standard claims that St Etienne will ask for £10m in readies in return for Zouma which, if Chelsea cough up, will mean their outlay so far this transfer window is £31m, a mind-boggling sum given that they recently posted a financial loss for the year ending June 30 2013 of £49.4m.

Elsewhere and Metro reports that AC Milan are circling Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul with an £8m offer expected to be tabled by the San Siro club in the next fortnight.

AC Milan have endured a torrid time of it lately with coach Massimiliano Allegri losing his job  earlier in the week. His successor, Clarence Seedorf, is believed to see 25-year-old Krul as the sort of shotstopper who can add some steel to Milan's defence and he is determined to beat off competition for Krul's signature from  Bundesliga side Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Talksport claims an exclusive with the news that Manchester City have been dealt a blow in their attempts to sign Dante Bonfim Costa Santos - or Dante as he prefers to be called - with his spokesman adamant that the 30-year-old veteran will remain loyal to Bayern Munich.

Apparently Sky Blues boss Manuel Pellegrini is seeking a defensive partner for Vincent Kompany and would love that man to be Dante. The Brazil international joined Bayern Munich from Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2012 and was a major influence in their winning a historic treble last season.

"Reports of Dante heading to Manchester are just rumours," manager Leo Scheinkman, told Talksport. "He is happy at Bayern working with Pep [Guardiola] and is focused on having another great season in Germany ahead of next summer's World Cup in his native Brazil."

The row over the future of former Manchester United starlet Ravel Morrison continues. The player has rehabilitated himself at West Ham, but now it seems that former United coach Rene Meulensteen want to bring him to Fulham. However, his efforts to lure the youngster have ended with the Hammers reporting Fulham to the FA for 'tapping up', reports the Daily Star

The problem could be solved, it adds, if Fulham find £10m as that would persuade the Hammer to let Morrison go.

Finally, reports that Sunderland striker Ji Dong-Won has joined Bundesliga club Augsburg for an undisclosed fee. The South Korean sharpshooter has bagged just five goals since joining the Black Cats from Chunnam Dragons in 2011, and was loaned out to Augsburg last season.

Now the move has been made permanent with Dong-Won ending his miserable spell on Wearside. "We have now taken the opportunity to take Ji Dong-Won," said  Augsburg sporting director Stefan Reuter. "Because he had a successful time at the Augsburg last season, he knows the team, the coaching staff and the environment."

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