Arsenal fight Bayern for Remy, as Wenger goes after Bender
QPR-owned Newcastle striker could spark tug of war this summer, and Gunners could still benefit
ON THE day Bayern Munich were battered by Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final comes news that the fallen German giants have joined the race to sign Loic Remy. The Daily Mirror says that Bayern are "keen" to tie up a move quickly for the France international, who is coming to the end of a season-long loan spell with Newcastle.
Officially with QPR, Remy has been linked with Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton in recent weeks but the Mirror claims that Bayern boss Pep Guardiola has already begun building for next season and has Remy on his summer shopping list. Apparently the German champions will offer Rangers £15m for Remy with Mario Mandzukic being sold to make way for the Frenchman. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has not given up on the idea of signing Remy, however, and could table a sizeable bid of his own.
But it might not be the end of the world for Wenger if he does miss out on Remy, as he is also said to be a fan of Mandzukic and may scoop him up instead.
The Daily Mirror claims that it is not strikers occupying the thoughts of Arsene Wenger, but midfield generals. It says that the Gunners boss is determined to sign the Bayer Leverkusen anchorman Lars Bender, who will hopefully do a better job than Ron Burgundy in the middle of the park.
Not only would Bender add "physical presence and technical ability" to the Gunners midfield he would take the pressure of Mikel Arteta who only has one year left on his contract and is now 32. With alternatives to Bender in short supply, Ilkay Gundogan has signed a new deal with Borussia Dortmund, Wenger will offer £20m for the 24-year-old.
In other news the Evening Standard report that Chelsea have been "warned" they could lose Kenneth Omeuro if they're not careful. The threat, surprise, surprise, comes from the Nigerian defender's agent, Chika Akujobi, who says his 20-year-old client deserves "a new deal on improved terms" from the Blues.
Currently on loan at Middlesbrough, Omeuro is expected to feature for Nigeria at the World Cup this summer but his future at the Bridge remains uncertain. The Standard says the youngster has one year left on his contract and Chelsea have recently began discussing a three-year extension in order to tie him to the club. But Akujobi has declared the Blues need to be more bullish in their offer: "We believe he deserves much more than they are offering," he said. "He has done well at Middlesbrough and he will be going to the World Cup with Nigeria and all these should count for something."
Meanwhile Metro says that Romelu Lukaku will decide his future over the summer. The Belgian frontman has blossomed at Everton on loan this season and in recent weeks rumours have emerged suggesting the Toffees would like to sign Lukaku on a permanent basis. Tottenham have also been loitering with intent but Lukaku is not paying much credence to the gossip – for the time being. "We'll see at the end of the season," he is reported as saying. "I'm focusing on my performances at Everton. I still have a contract until 2016 at Chelsea and…they have the last word, so we shall see what's happening next."
Still with Chelsea and Goal.com reports that the agent of John Obi Mikel has laughed off suggestions the player could be off to Inter Milan at the end of the season. The Nigerian midfielder has been a vital cog in Mourinho's Chelsea wheel this season, making 23 Premier League appearances for the Blues, and Olatunji John Shittu is insisting the 27-year-old won't be moving to the San Siro in the summer.
"It's just a rumour," Shittu told Nigeria's Daily Times. "It's all part of the transfer speculations [but] as far as I am concerned, there is nothing like that."
Finally, Talksport Newcastle gloveman Tim Krul is on the radar of Atletico Madrid as they resign themselves to losing Thibaut Courtois in the summer. Krul showed his skills during Monday's night 3-0 defeat to Arsenal, a game the Magpies could have lost by six or seven had it not been for the dextrous Dutchman. That was just the latest eagle-eyed display from Krul that has impressed Atletico and as a result Talksport claim he could be on his way to the Spanish capital in a couple of months' time. Courtois has been out on loan with Atletico for three years but it's believed Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho will call the Belgian back to challenge Petr Cech for the No1 jersey next season.