Man Utd Carvalho deal hijacked by City; Arsenal Draxler boost
Portuguese midfielder's move to Old Trafford may not be a done deal after all
DEPENDING on which paper you read, highly-rated Portuguese midfielder William Carvalho is either on his way to Manchester United in the summer or facing an uncertain future as the Red Devils slug it out with their neighbours Manchester City for his signature.
The Daily Mirror claims that the Angolan-born 21-year-old is poised to become Manchester United's first big summer signing after his management team had a tour of the club's facilities last week. So impressed were the Sporting Lisbon player's representatives, says the paper, that Carvalho will sign for United before the World Cup finals in Brazil. The Mirror adds that Carvalho, who plays his representative football for Portugal, will be the first of five purchases in the coming months as David Moyes looks to rebuild his Old Trafford empire ahead of next season.
But before United fans start getting Carvalho's name printed on the back of their replica shirts they might want to have a gander in the Daily Star. It claims that Manchester City are "trying to hijack" the United deal and will pull out all the stops to sign the youngster.
Apparently United have tabled a bid in the region of £37m but the Star reckons the Sky Blues will up that offer in an attempt to sway Sporting Lisbon's decision. It's said that City boss Manuel Pellegrini is "hugely impressed" by the strapping Carvalho and wants him at the Etihad next season. What it may come down to in the end, says the Star, is whether United qualify for the Champions League: if they don't (and they won't) then Carvalho is expected to throw in his lot with City.
If he misses out on Carvalho David Moyes could be more successful in his bid to lure out-of-favour Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen to Old Trafford in the summer. Last week the Belgian hinted that he would be prepared to stay at the Emirates, but now he appears to have changed his tune - possibly after the events of the weekend.
TalkSport reports that the 28-year-old Arsenal skipper told Belgian paper Het Nieuwsblad that he "did not know" if he would remain a Gunner. "I was hoping for more playing time," he explained. The bad news for United is that after the performances of Arsenal back four against Chelsea he will almost certainly get his wish.
Talking of Arsenal, and after the bleakest of weekends for everyone associated with the club, there is a morsel of good news from Germany. It seems that Bayern Munich, after knocking the Gunners out of Europe and watching them capitulate to Chelsea have taken pity on Arsene Wenger and co, and will not steal winger Julian Draxler from under their noses this summer.
The young Schalke forward has been linked with a move to the Emirates for months, but it appeared that Bayern would blow the Gunners out of the water by offering him a realistic chance of regular success, something that looks to be beyond Arsenal these days.
But the German club's president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has ruled out a move for the player. Metro reports that he no longer believes Draxler is good enough for the German and European champions. "We are just buying players who can give FC Bayern more quality straight away," he said. "I can rule out that we will sign Julian Draxler in the summer."
Meanwhile, the Star also says that Man City are "keeping a close eye" on Barcelona gloveman Victor Valdes and would love him to join them when he leaves the Nou Camp in the summer as a free agent. But Valdes is said to be in two minds because of his belief that he would spend a lot of his time understudying Joe Hart.
In other news, the Daily Telegraph says that Real Madrid are lining up a move for Glen Johnson at the end of the season. With Liverpool reportedly unable to agree terms with Johnson over a contract extension, the Spanish giants plan to come up with a package of their own with which to entice Johnson to the Bernabeu. Real coach Carlo Ancelotti is known to be a fan of the England defender and the Telegraph says he sees Johnson as the man to replace Alvaro Arbeloa at right-back. A £5m bid for Johnson will soon be tabled by Real, and it's expected Liverpool will accept the offer for a player soon to turn 30. The news will come as a blow to Arsenal, who have also been tracking Johnson, as they face up to the distinct possibility of losing Bacary Sagna to either Monaco or Inter Milan.
Finally, The Sun says Samuel Eto'o will quit Chelsea at the end of the season because "he is still furious with Jose Mourinho". The Special One, smugger than ever after his side's dismantling of Arsenal on Saturday, made a quip about Eto'o earlier in the year, telling French TV he wasn't sure if his frontman was 32 or 35. As a result, says the Sun, Eto'o is set to return to Spanish outfit Real Mallorca this summer.