Arsenal chase Benfica hotshot Rodrigo as well as Draxler

Jan 28, 2014
Bill Mann

Are the Gunners on the trail of two forwards as the transfer window begins to close?

CONFUSION reigns among Arsenal fans as the transfer windown inches shut, with Arsene Wenger possibly stalking not one, but two, of Europe's finest frontmen, despite his claims to the contrary.

His interest in Schalke sharpshooter Julian Draxlar has been well documented but could the Arsenal manager also be lining up a bid for Benfica striker Rodrigo?

According to Talksport, the 22-year-old Spanish striker is highly prized by Wenger and he has sounded out the Portuguese club over the possibility of a move. Taking its cue from Portuguese rag O Jogo , Talksport claims that the Premier League leaders have "already contacted" Benfica to discuss terms. It's reported that Zenit St Petersburg and Valencia are also interested in the Brazil-born forward but that Rodrigo would prefer a move to north London. The youngster is no stranger to these shores having had a brief spell with Bolton Wanderers in 2010/11 and the experience doesn't appear to have dampened his enthusiasm for England.

In other news, Sky Sports says that Liverpool have rejoined the race to sign Thomas Ince. The 21-year-old Blackpool star has been linked with a number of top clubs with the Seasiders keen to capitalize on his burgeoning reputation.

Sky claim that the midfielder, son of former Liverpool and England legend Paul, who was sacked as Seasiders' manager this month, has already held talks with Swansea this week, while Crystal Palace Stoke, Hull and Sunderland also want to talk terms.

But Liverpool's interest could prove a game-changer with the young maestro keen to make the step up to the big time. Apparently Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will swoop for Ince now that he lost out to Chelsea in the battle to sign Mohamed Salah.

Sticking with rumours of interest to Liverpool fans, and the Daily Star reports that former Reds marksman David Ngog has joined Swansea City from Championship side Bolton Wanderers on loan. The French striker will link up with the Swans until the end of the season with the possibility of a longer contract if he finds the net frequently for his new club.

Ngog, in the final six months of his contract at Bolton, will provide cover for Swansea boss Michael Laudrup as he waits for Michu to battle his way back from injury. "It's a delight for me," Ngog told the Swansea club website. "The manager was obviously a top player and as a manager he has proven he is very good as well. It will be really interesting to work with him."

Controversial Gallic gesticulator Nicolas Anelka has revealed that he's been courted by several clubs, including Italian outfit Lazio, whose fans have been accused of anti-Semitism. The 34-year-old WBA striker has himself been charged by the FA after allegedly making a 'quenelle' gesture but has said he'll defend himself against the accusation.

According to, the former Arsenal striker, who has played for 11 different clubs, took to Twitter to claim: "Thanks to Lazio & all the others clubs who wanted to sign me this last days [sic]. See you this summer if I decide to continue..."

Rumours have emerged in recent days suggesting Anelka may look for one final big pay day before calling time on his career, but he appeared to scotch the tittle-tattle by sending a second tweet: "But the question is why should I leave my club & England? I'm happy here & I did nothing wrong..."

Finally, the BBC reports that Newcastle and Paris Saint-Germain have agreed terms for France international Yohan Cabaye. The 28-year-old midfielder, linked to Arsenal in the past, is off to the French capital after PSG agreed to pay the Magpies £19m, a figure that BBC Sport says "could rise beyond £20m with add-ons". Cabaye flies to France today for a medical with an official announcement expected to follow. 

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