Arsenal after the 'new Aguero' but could lose Podolski
San Lorenzo's teenage sensation Angel Correa has already attracted bid from Atletico Madrid
THE race is on to sign one of the top talents in South American football. According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal and Barcelona have joined Manchester City in the hunt for San Lorenzo super striker Angel Correa.
The 18-year-old Argentine, already compared to a young Sergio Aguero, has been attracting interest for months and the Mail claims that Atletico Madrid have already had one offer knocked back by San Lorenzo. The Argentine club, situated in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, are desperate to hang on to the teenage hitman for at least a season longer but City, Arsenal and Barcelona are expected to spark a bidding war in the summer.
Another player who is wanted by more than one of the Premier League big guns is Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa. However, the Daily Express reports that suitors Arsenal and Chelsea have been warned off the player by the Spanish club's president Enrique Cerezo.
Costa is thought to have a £32m release clause in his contract, but Cerezo insisted: "I do not think Diego Costa will leave us at the end of the coming year. Unquestionably, we do not want to sell him or use him as a bargaining chip." Atletico have been forced to sell some of their star players in recent seasons, including Radamel Falcao (another Chelsea target) who left for Monaco in a £50m last summer. However hopes are high in the Spanish capital that things will be different this year.
Meanwhile the Daily Express also says that Lukas Podolski has "opened the door" to a return to Germany at the end of the season. The 28-year-old frontman has struggled to settle since arriving at the Emirates 18 months ago and injury hasn't helped this season. According to the Express Podolski still holds a flame for Cologne, the club he left for the Gunners in 2012. Podolski was back in Cologne on Monday on a short break and he popped into watch his old team in action against SpVgg Greuther Furth. Asked about a possible return in the summer, Podolski replied: "You can never rule anything out in football... [Cologne] is always my club and always will be."
There is some good news for the Gunners though. They have taken the heroically-named teenager Caniggia 'Ginola' Elva on trial from his youth side in Calgary in Canada. The young forward has spent time with Bundesliga sides Stuttgart, Schalke and Hoffenheim, according to website Give Me Sport, but they passed on the opportunity to sign him.
If he can live up to the reputations of his namesakes Claudio (Caniggia) and David (Ginola) then he might be worth persevering with.
Elsewhere and Caughtoffside claims that Manchester United manager David Moyes will be given £110m this summer to spend on new players. As we reported yesterday, Moyes has reportedly convinced himself he's persuaded Ilkay Gundogan to leave Borussia Dortmund for Old Trafford, and Caughtoffside predict Moyes will be successful in also luring Marco Reus to England. Apparently the 24-year-old German international will be bought with the money Moyes makes from offloading Javier Hernandez and Shinji Kagawa at the end of the season.
In other news the London Evening Standard reports that Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen has dropped his biggest hint yet that he will leave White Hart Lane if the club fails to qualify for next season's Champions League. The 26-year-old Vertonghen arrived at Spurs from Ajax in the summer of 2012 and the Belgium international has since become a fans' favourite at the Lane. While the Standard says Vertonghen is likely to be offered a new deal in the coming months as the Lilywhites look to tie him to London, the man himself admitted the lack of Champions League football could be a factor when it comes to deciding his future. "What I want is to be playing in the Champions League with Tottenham, so I hope we get in this year," he said. And when pressed on what he might do if that didn't happen, Vertonghen replied: "Those are always difficult questions."