Arsenal to ditch Giroud, could Lukaku or Moreno replace him?
Arsene Wenger set to jettison French striker over his amorous indiscretions
FLIRTATIOUS French frontman Olivier Giroud is "set to be axed" by Arsenal this summer, says The Sun.
According to the newspaper the 27-year-old striker, who scored one of the Gunners' penalties in their FA Cup semi-final shootout with Wigan on Saturday, will be ditched by Arsene Wenger at the end of the season. Though Giroud has scored goals regularly throughout the season (he is the club's top scorer with 19), the Sun says Wenger remains "furious" with his compatriot for his amorous antics earlier in the season.
The striker allegedly scored away from home, so to speak, when he should have been preparing for a Premier League clash. As a result, says the Sun, Wenger feels let down and will therefore wave au revoir to the player he signed from Montpellier in a £13m deal in the summer of 2012. It's believed Arsenal want £17m for Giroud and are cautiously optimistic that one of Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus or AC Milan will make a move for the Latin Lothario.
So who will replace the French forward at the Emirates? Reports over the weekend suggested that Belgian bruiser Romelu Lukaku was on Wenger's shortlist. The big striker is currently on loan at Everton from Chelsea, and is having a fine season at Goodison Park. But the one person who is unimpressed by his form is Jose Mourinho who plans to offload him in the summer.
The Daily Mail reckons that both Arsenal and Spurs are after his services, but if Everton finish in fourth surely he would rather play in the Champions League with the Toffees than downgrade to the Europa League with either of the London clubs.
The Gunners may also have trouble in luring Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic to the Emirates if Metro is to be believed. It reports that the German club's sporting director Matthias Sammer has "warned off" Wenger, by insisting that the 27-year-old is still part of Pep Guardiola's plans despite the impending arrival of Robert Lewandowski in the summer.
That could mean Arsenal fans will have to get used to watching Yaya Sanogo fluff his lines next season, unless, that is, they can get their hands on Benfica's Rodrigo Moreno. The Sunday People reckons Wenger is keen on the 23-year-old Spaniard, who is owned by an investment firm, and who played in the Premier League for Bolton on loan.
Apparently it would cost the Gunners £28m to bring him to the Emirates, and they will have to fight off Inter Milan to get their man.
Meanwhile, the International Business Times reports that Arsenal have received a "massive boost" in their pursuit of Feyenoord full-back Darryl Janmaat. They claim that the player is refusing to put his name to a contract extension with the Dutch giants. Why? Because apparently the 24-year-old has his heart set on playing in the Europa League, and who better to taste the delights of Europe's secondary competition with than the Gunners?
IBT says that Wenger is resigned to losing Bacary Sagna at the end of the season and has identified Janmaat as the ideal replacement. The Dutch defender is valued at £7m but with his contract expiring next year, Feyenoord are likely to settle for half that fee rather than risk losing him for nothing in 2015.
Elsewhere and the Daily Star would have us believe that Manchester United are zeroing in on PSG striker Edinson Cavani and that David Moyes has already drafted what he believes is an irresistible package for the French champions. Moyes "will offer winger Nani plus cash" in return for the hand of the 27-year-old Cavani. It's no secret that Nani is unsettled at Old Trafford and the Portuguese winger would allegedly jump at the chance to jump ship in the summer. The only possible fly in the ointment is PSG's response to the offer. As yet the Star says the Parisian outfit are still mulling over the deal but it's expected they will want a lot of money for the £50m-rated Uruguay star.
Over at Chelsea, the Mirror says that striker Demba Ba is "determined to quit" the Blues in the summer despite the fact that the French-born Senegal striker is the toast of the Bridge following his goal-scoring antics in the last week against PSG and Swansea City.
The Mirror says that Ba has "been driven to breaking point" by his boss Jose Mourinho, and wants a clean break at the end of the season. Though Ba has been linked to Arsenal in recent months, it is believed he fancies a move to France with PSG one of the clubs mentioned as a possible destination. They see the 28-year-old Ba as an ideal strike partner for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a big money offer could be put before Chelsea in a couple of months.