Arsenal lead the chase for Angel di Maria, Giroud to stay

May 28, 2014
Bill Mann

Real Madrid winger is wanted across Europe, as Yaya Toure says 'come and get me' to PSG

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

It's six of the best as far as Angel Di Maria is concerned as the Daily Express claims that half a dozen clubs are on the tail of the Real Madrid winger after his man of the match performance in the Champions League final.

The paper claims that Arsenal are leading the chase from the Premier League with the Gunners having made a "concrete bid" for the player. Whether that means a stack load of cash or the base of Thierry Henry's statue isn't known, but Monaco and Paris Saint-German are also lining up offers. Then there's the interest of Manchester City, Manchester United and Juventus, all of who could table a bid in the coming weeks.

It's believed Real are keen to hold on to Di Maria after his Lisbon heroics, but the more scurrilous sections of the Argentine press claim Di Maria is poised "to agree a deal to leave within the next few weeks". A well-placed source has told South American broadcaster UOL Sport that there have been firm offers from Arsenal, PSG and Monaco.

Meanwhile Sky Sports says Bacary Sagna has officially informed Arsenal that he has turned down their contract offer and will be leaving over the summer. The news comes as little surprise with the 31-year-old keen to make monetary hay in the twilight of his career.

After turning down the Gunners' offer of a two-year extension the France international is believed to be mulling over offers from Manchester City and a number of top clubs in Europe.

One player who is hoping to extend his stay at the Emirates is Sagna's international colleague Olivier Giroud. The French striker, who's future has been in doubt as Wenger seeks to bring in an extra striker, has declared himself happy as a Gunner and confirmed he is in talks about extending his contract, which still has two years to run.

The Independent says the news will come as a relief to Arsenal fans who feared he would quit England after rumours about his private life earlier in the season.

In other news the Daily Star says that Liverpool are plotting a move for Crystal Palace star Yannick Bolasie. Brendan Rodgers has agreed a new contract at Anfield and has now identified 25-year-old Bolasie as one of his summer targets.

Rodgers certainly knows how effective Bolasie can be. The winger was the driving force behind Palace's stunning 3-3 draw against Liverpool earlier in the month, a result that wrecked the Reds' title hopes. Having experienced his talents at first hand, Rodgers wants to sign the Congo playmaker for £2.5m before the new season starts. It's reported that Palace have already rejected one £2m offer for Bolasie from an unnamed club but the Star says Liverpool still face competition from Spanish and Italian clubs.

Elsewhere and Talksport is once more speculating on the future of Yaya Toure. The Manchester City star had a case of the birthday blues last week after the club forgot to send him a card and it was suggested he could be on his way to Barcelona as a result of his strop. But Talksport reports that Paris Saint-Germain are now in pole position to sign the bolshy birthday boy.

Asked by France Football if he might fancy a spell in Paris, the 31-year-old replied: "How could you not be interested in a club like that…PSG have become one of the strongest teams in Europe. It would be a honour to one day play for a club like that. If I can be of service..." Desperate or what?

Talking of desperation, have Tottenham taken leave of their senses or are they really planning to swoop for 35-year-old injury-prone defender Rio Ferdinand? It was reported earlier in the week that QPR boss Harry Redknapp was considering signing the former Manchester United defender on a free, but according to Caughtoffside Spurs "have emerged as the favourites" to land the free agent.

Apparently the Lilywhites are resigned to losing Belgian international Jan Vertonghen over the summer and have decided Ferdinand could offer some, er, fresh blood. Then again might new gaffer (and former Argentina defender) Mauricio Pochettino decide that, being just seven years older than Ferdinand, he could fill in at the back if required?

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