Juventus tempt Van Persie away from Man Utd... and Arsenal
Italian club set to sign the Dutch striker this summer, Podolski unaware of Arsenal Draxler swap
ITALIAN giants Juventus are "waiting to pounce" on Manchester United striker Robin van Persie this summer and snatch him away from his old club, Arsenal, who had been tipped to lure him back to the Emirates after two years away.
According to Talksport the 30-year-old striker is increasingly likely to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season after allegedly growing disenchanted with life under David Moyes.
Juventus were linked to the former Arsenal frontman in the summer of 2012 when he decided to turn his back on the Emirates but United beat them to the hand of the Dutchman. Two years on, however, and Talksport reports that the Turin outfit are serious about a big money move for Van Persie and "talks have already been held" between the player's agent and the Serie A champions.
Apparently rumours circulating of late that Van Persie's contract contains a clause which will allow him to leave Old Trafford should they fail to qualify for the Champions League are wide of the mark – not unlike one of his headers – and he will only leave if Juventus come up with a stack load of cash.
In other news Metro reports that Arsenal have "made contact" with Anderlecht over a deal for defender Cheikhou Kouyate. The Belgian giants believe it's only a matter of time before the 24-year-old Kouyate ups sticks and moves to the Emirates, particularly as it's well known that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is "a huge admirer" of the defender.
The Nutty Professor will have taken some pleasure in the way Arsenal's back four performed in Tuesday in the 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich, Metro says he is resigned to losing Thomas Vermaelen in the summer. That has led Arsenal to court Kouyate with the defender's agent, Saffet Balkan, declaring: "Arsenal have been tracking Cheikhou and have now made enquiries [to Anderlecht]."
Still with the Gunners and their goalscorer last night - Lukas Podolski - has "played down reports" he could be used as a bargaining chip when Arsenal sit down with Schalke and attempt to thrash out a deal for Julian Draxler.
The 20-year-old Draxler remains top of Wenger's summer shopping list but the Evening Standard says Arsenal are considering parting company with Podolski if it will help land the young striker. But despite the rumours Podlski was playing mum when asked about the gossip on Tuesday: "I do not know what the [club] are planning," he said. "I only know that a swap deal involving me and him was never a consideration... I am in contact with Julian. He is a great guy... but we haven't spoken about a move."
Finally, the Daily Mail is just one of several papers to notice that Zenit St Petersburg striker Hulk "caused a stir" on Tuesday by posting a picture of himself and his agent flying to London on a social networking site. The Brazilian hitman has been on Chelsea's radar for over a year and the Mail believes it's no coincident that on the same day the Russian club gave manager Luciano Spalletti the boot, he posts a photo of himself bound for London. Earlier in the month Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was caught complaining about his striker shortage at the Bridge and it's believed a move for Hulk is in the summer pipeline.