Arsenal line up Loic Remy as Bayern Munich target Draxler

Feb 18, 2014
Bill Mann

French striker could be lured to the Emirates as another team joins fight for Julian Draxler

WITH Olivier Giroud in the doghouse are the Gunners lining up a striker who can take the heat off their wandering centre-forward. The Daily Mail thinks so and believes that Arsenal are in pole position in the race to sign QPR's French forward, Loic Remy.

The striker, who is on a season-long loan at St James' Park having failed to keep his parent club in the Premier League next season, could turn his back on Tyneside at the end of the campaign, even though Alan Padew is desperate to keep the man who has scored 11 goals in 22 outings for the Magpies so far this term. The Mail reports that the prospect of Champions League football with the Gunners could be too tempting to pass up for the 27-year-old, and even claims that Arsenal have made contact with Remy’s representatives to start thrashing out a deal.

But if Arsenal are favourites to sign Remy their hopes of securing Julian Draxler are receding faster than the polar ice cap. According to German rag Bild, Bayern Munich have barged their way to the front of the queue for the 20-year-old Schalke star and are in talks with the player's agent with a summer move on the agenda. That will only add to Arsenal's determination to line up alternatives.

Talking of alternatives, Marseille midfielder Mathieu Valbuena has been given an 'out' by coach Jose Anigo. Metro reports that the 29-year-old midfielder is on the brink of leaving the French outfit with Arsenal and Liverpool set for a "summer battle" over his services. Apparently Valbuena wants one final challenge before calling time on his career and a stint in the Premier League would be just the ticket.

Pressed on the situation by French broadcaster Le10Sport, Anigo replied: "If we received a good offer, we won't force him to stay. He has given a lot to our club so if he wants to he can leave." Metro says that Valbuena, who joined Marseille in 2006, is contracted to the Mediterranean club until 2017, but is likely to force through a move to England at the end of this season.

Elsewhere and Talksport reports that Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic is set to sit down with the Italian club to discuss his future. In recent weeks the gifted playmaker has been strongly linked with Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham, with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain also said to be loitering with intent. Roma, currently second in Serie A, are odds on to qualify for next season's Champions League and that, claims Talksport, puts them in "a strong bargaining position" with the continent's biggest clubs. Quizzed by Sky Sport Italia on where he might play football next season, Pjanic replied: "We'll see. I have always said I'm happy here, but... when the time is right I'll talk to the club and we will find the right solution."

In other news Caughtoffside reckons that Manchester United are preparing a "shock £7m bid" for Juventus centre-back Martin Caceres. The Uruguayan defender has fallen out of favour with the Italian club and that's alerted United gaffer David Moyes. Looking to replace Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic next season, Moyes has apparently lined up the 26-year-old  Caceres as one of his first summer signings. Though he's contracted to Juve until the end of the 2015-16 season, Caughtoffside claims that the Old Lady will allow Caceres to leave Turin in June.

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