Arsenal poised to land Vucinic or Morata, but not Reus

Jun 10, 2014
Bill Mann

Gunners chase two of Europe's best young strikers as Chelsea target Mandzukic


Two's company, three's a crowd, but try telling that to Spansh outfit Valencia who, according to the Daily Star, are ready to join Tottenham and Arsenal in the battle for Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic. The two north London clubs have long been interested for the 30-year-old hitman, who comes with a £6.5m price tag, but it appears that Spanish club Valencia are now poised to table a bid for Vucinic.

Taking its cue from Italian media outlet Tuttosport, the Star claims that the Montenegrin marksman wants to leave Turin after a season playing second fiddle to Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente. The Gunners first expressed an interest in Vucinic in January but though that bid came to naught it's reported the Arsene Wenger is still interested.

New Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is also a fan but both clubs may be gazumped by Valencia, who now have pots of cash after their recent takeover of the club by Singapore businessman Peter Lim.

But Arsenal may not be too concerned about their prospects of landing Vucinic, after Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti hinted that a deal for Alvaro Morata could be on the cards. Morata is another long-term Arsenal target who nearly ended up at the Emirates in January. Now he has been told that he is free to leave the Bernabeu and that heading for pastures new is his best chance of getting first team football.

Ancelotti said it was "impossible" to improve Real's frontline of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Jese and said the club was prepared to let Morata depart. Metro warns Arsenal that they will face competition from Wolfsburg and Juventus.

Elsewhere and Talksport claims that Barcelona have reached an agreement with Borussia Dortmund over Marco Reus. The crocked German ace has been tracked by both Manchester United and Arsenal in recent months but Spanish rag Sport alleges that Barcelona "will present an opening offer of £28m" to Dortmund. New Catalan gaffer Luis Enrique sees Reus as the perfect complement to Neymar and Lionel Messi, and he has already "reached a verbal agreement" with the 25-year-old Reus. The German striker scored 23 goals and contributed 23 assists for Dortmund last season and Louis van Gaal has been keen to bring him to Old Trafford, though Talksport says it remains to be seen whether the Dutchman will enter into a bidding war with Barcelona.

Still with all things German and The Sun reckons that Chelsea are zeroing in on Mario Mandzukic, after the Croatian frontman revealed "he wants to quit Bayern Munich". The 28-year-old has struggled to fit in at Bayern under Pep Guardiola's regime and rumours first linked him with a move away from the Allianz Arena earlier in the year – with the Blues top of his possible destinations. When asked about a fresh start, Mandzukic replied: "Let's be honest, the style Guardiola wants at Bayern doesn't suit me... when it's like that, I don't feel good and it's best for everyone that we part."

One deal unveiled on Monday was by Stoke City, who announced on their official website that Steve Sidwell has joined them on a two year contract from Fulham. The 31-year-old was released by Fulham at the end of the 2013-14 season following the Cottagers' relegation to the Championship. Sidwell, who has had stints at Reading, Chelsea and Aston Villa in the past, is the Potters' second signing of the summer following the arrival of Phil Bardsley from Sunderland last month.

Finally, The Guardian reports that veteran gloveman Brad Friedel has signed a one-year contract extension with Tottenham. The American -  who turned 43 last month - joined Tottenham in 2011, but made only nine appearances last season with Hugo Lloris the preferred option between the sticks at the Lane. In announcing the extension, a Spurs statement ran: "Friedel has put pen to paper on a new one-year contract with the club, which will also see him become a club ambassador with a particular focus on our work in his native United States." The Guardian points out that should Fridel play for Spurs next season he will become the oldest player to appear in the Premier League, surpassing the record set in May 1995 by Manchester City keeper John Burridge, who was 43 years and 162 days old when he faced QPR.

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