Arsenal keen on Angel di Maria and Javier Mascherano
Gunners line up £29m move for Argentine and could also swoop for former Liverpool star
WITH Arsenal getting through transfer rumours the way Tottenham go through managers, the Gunners are now being linked with Real Madrid star Angel di Maria, as the Daily Star claims that a "£29m move" is in the pipeline.
Apparently the Argentine winger is no longer required at the Bernabeu and the Star says Arsenal and Manchester City are both eyeing up a move for the 26-year-old in the summer. They'll face likely competition from Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain but with City and PSG facing Uefa transfer sanctions for breaching Financial Fair Play regulations, Arsenal are in pole position to land Di Maria. The Star says Arsenal have "already contacted Real" to ask about possibility of a move, although Di Maria's Argentina teammate Sergio Aguero is allegedly trying to bring his influence to bear in persuading the winger to move to the Etihad.
Still in Spain and Talksport reports that Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano has hinted that he is about to call time on the Catalan club. Speaking to Spanish television, the 29-year-old Argentine intimated that he had played his last game for Barcelona and Talksport claims that he might return for a second spell with Liverpool – the club he left in 2010 – or alternatively join either Arsenal or Manchester United. The latter would seem unlikely, given that United aren't in Europe next season, and Talksport speculates that Mascherano not only has the leadership qualities Arsenal currently lack, but his burly presence in the midfield would "complement a plethora of more creative players".
If Arsenal, or Everton, want to get their hands on Swansea striker Wilfried Bony then they will have to fork out an "astronomical fee". The Daily Express says that the Ivory Coast striker has impressed the Gunners and the Toffees after scoring 24 goals for the Swans this season but manager Gary Monk will fight tooth and nail to keep hold of the 25-year-old Bony. "I think we can hold on to him," said Monk. Although he admitted that "money talks", Monk also warned Arsenal and Everton: "It would have to be an astronomical fee for him to leave... and we're not a selling club. We're not in any debt. We don't need to lose anyone so we're in a strong position."
Taking of strikers and the Express also claims that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho wants to bring in another new striker to work in tandem with Diego Costa, who is expected to sign from Atletico Madrid this summer. The paper claims that the man in question is Brazilian Roberto Firmino, currently plying his trade with Hoffenheim in Germany. The 22-year-old, who failed to make Luiz Felipe Scolari's World Cup squad, would cost around £15m says the paper.
Finally, the Daily Mirror says that Manchester United are already working overtime to plug the gaps left by the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand in their defence. Apparently manager-elect Louis van Gaal is likely to bring defender Bruno Martins Indi with him from Holland while the United board are also eyeing up Germany star Mats Hummels. The 22-year-old Indi plays for Dutch club the Feyenoord and is a favourite of Van Gaal (who is expected to be unveiled as United's new boss before the week is out), while the 25-year-old Hummels has been at the heart of the Borussia Dortmund defence in their outstanding performances in the last few seasons.