Arsenal renew Benzema chase as Real Madrid eye Suarez
Gunners go after French striker once again as Man Utd and Chelsea tussle over full back
WITH Arsenal's season likely to end as badly as US sitcom How I Met Your Mother, it seems the Gunners are already looking ahead to next season and the race to finish fourth in the Premier League.
According to Caughtoffside, Arsenal, rumoured to have £100m at their disposal, are ready to bring Karim Benzema to the Emirates in the summer with Real Madrid ever more hopeful of luring Luis Suarez from Liverpool to the Bernabeu.
It's by no means the first time Arsenal have been linked to Benzema over the last 12 months but the rumours – like a post-match analysis from Arsene Wenger – have so far proved to be full of hot air. But this time Caughtoffside claims the Nutty Professor is determined to sign the French international, and he's cautiously optimistic he'll get his man as Benzema has just one season left on his contract. Real don't want to see Benzema leave on a free transfer in 2015 so it's believed the Spanish giants will sell him to the Gunners and use the money to make Liverpool an irresistible offer for Luis Suarez.
In other news, Talksport says that Chelsea are set to challenge Manchester United for the hand of Porto full-back Alex Sandro. The 23-year-old Sandro is seen by United manager David Moyes as the man to replace the ageing Patrice Evra, whose contract runs out in two months' time. However, Talksport claims that Chelsea gaffer Jose Mourinho is now eyeing Sandro after his interest in Southampton starlet Luke Shaw cooled because of the Saints' asking price.
Apparently Mourinho, who has used right-back Cesar Azpilicueta on the left for most of the season, is after a specialist left-back for next season and Sandro is that man. Talksport says Mourinho has set aside £15m to "prise" Sandro away from his former club, but warns that Porto are likely to demand at least twice as much for a player who has won league two titles during his time in Portugal.
The Daily Mirror claims that Spurs gloveman Hugo Lloris is involved in a "three-way transfer battle" with Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid all after his signature. The French keeper arrived at the Lane in the summer of 2012 but, with Spurs in crisis, the Mirror says the trio of European powerhouses are now in hot pursuit.
PSG are said to be in pole position to bring Lloris back to France with the wealthy club lining up a summer bid likely to "dwarf" the £12m Spurs paid to Lyon two years ago.
Finally, as PSG prepare to face Chelsea in the French capital tonight, The Guardian is one of several newspapers reporting that their star striker has dismissed suggestions he might see out his career in the Premier League.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has turned out for Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Barcelona and AC Milan in his time, but the 32-year-old Swede has never been tempted to try his luck in England despite the efforts of the Premier League's finest to lure him north.
Ibrahimovic, who has netted 39 times in 42 appearances this season for the Parisians, has a year to run on his contract and asked if he might head to England in 2015, replied: "It's impossible to get me to England... I do not think they [PSG] would let me go."
And nor does the big man care that he won't ever the chance to experience Andre Marriner's refereeing. "I do not think I will regret not having played in the Premier League, despite all the respect I have for the clubs and players who play in this league," he declared, without a hint of sarcasm.