Arsenal want Stones as their rock and £20m Remy up front
Young Everton defender is on Gunners's summer hit list; United pin hopes of West Brom cast-off
YOU wouldn't describe the Arsenal defence this season as rock-solid but could they soon be getting some additional ballast from stones? According to Metro Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is lining up a move for Everton defender John Stones.
The 19-year-old six-footer is enjoying his breakthrough season at Goodison Park this season under Roberto Martinez, making the most of Phil Jagielka's injury problems to establish himself as a no-nonsense blocker in the centre of the Merseysiders' defence. Such has been his form, claims Metro, that Arsenal's Nuttier-than-ever Professor is determined to sign the teenager in the summer. Apparently Stones has been under Arsenal surveillance ever since he was with Barnsley and Wenger believes the time is now right to pounce, particularly as the Gunners' current crop of defenders are as reliable as rumours about jihadists in Syria.
Meanwhile Talksport speculates that Loic Remy could soon be on his way to the Emirates. The Frenchman was loaned out to Newcastle by QPR at the start of the season and has impressed with 13 goals for the Magpies. But it appears Remy doesn't much fancy a return to Rangers next season, regardless of whether they gain promotion from the Championship.
Asked about Remy's future, Rangers' gaffer Harry Redknapp told Talksport: "The chances of us keeping him are not great if he's got a buy-out clause... he's done well at Newcastle, and one or two other big clubs are trying to get him, so there's every chance he will go."
It's believed Arsenal, who have pursued Remy in the past, will make a sustained effort to sign him in the summer but Redknapp won't let him go cheap, saying "He's a scorer... he's worth £20m."
In other news Italian rag La Nazione claims that things have got so bad at Old Trafford that Man United are chasing West Bromwich Albion cast-offs. Apparently David Moyes has identified former Baggies midfielder Borja Valero as the man to reignite the Red Devils and a summer bid is in the pipeline. Now with Italian outfit Fiorentina, Valero has been in good form this season, allegedly attracting interest from Real Madrid who must have overlooked his three seasons at the Hawthorns a few years ago.
As we reported yesterday United scouts have also been running the rule over Fiorentina's Juan Cuadrado of late but it now appears Moyes is thinking of a double swoop as he looks to rebuild United over the summer.
But if United are already thinking of which players to bring in for the next season what about those heading in the opposite direction? According to the Daily Mail a whopping ten (one for each of United's league defeats this season) players face the axe at the end of this season. Nemanja Vidic has already declared his intention to leave, while veterans Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand have clearly reached the end of the road at Old Trafford. But in addition, the Mail says that left back Patrice Evra is also living on borrowed time, along with Anderson, Alex Buttner, Nani, Ashley Young, Shinji Kagawa and Tom Cleverley, with the latter increasingly linked with a move to Everton.