Arsenal can't sign Insigne, but Man Utd get Miranda boost
Gunners warned off Italian World Cup winger, as Chelsea prepare to offload Cech
The chances of Arsenal landing italian international Lorenzo Insigne are vanishing faster than a cold beer in Manaus after the player's agent dismissed suggestions the 23-year-old midfielder was poised to join the Gunners.
Insigne's sparkling form for Napoli last season earned him a call-up to Cesare Prandelli's World Cup squad, and the Daily Star claims Arsene Wenger is prepared to pay Napoli £17m to secure the 23-year-old Italian winger's services. That bid went down as well as Sepp Blatter at a Uefa board meeting and the response of Napoli chairman Aurelio de Laurentis was to say they wouldn't even look at any bid lower than £56m.
Asked if he thought there was any chance Insigne could still join Arsenal, agent Antonio Ottaiano replied: "I don't think. We know of the attentions of big foreign clubs, but I think he will stay at Napoli as the club wants to lock up the player." Still, if it's any consolation to the Nutty Professor, Ottaiano did add: "It's always a nice certificate of appreciation when a great manager like Arsene Wenger takes interest in a player, but Napoli do not want to let Lorenzo go."
Elsewhere and Talksport reports that Manchester United target Joao Miranda seems to be negotiating his way out of Atletico Madrid. The 29-year-old Brazilian defender was an integral part of Diego Simeone's side last season, as Atletico kept the tightest defence in La Liga as they won the title, but now it appears he has bigger fish to fry in England.
Signed on a free transfer from Sao Paulo three years ago, Miranda's talent was obvious to Atletico who, according to Talksport, wisely added a £24.2m buy-out clause into his most recent contract extension. As a result it will cost any club a small fortune if they wish to prise Miranda from Spain, but that doesn't seem to be worrying the player. "I have received several offers and we are negotiating," Miranda told Radio ESPN. "My agent is currently in Europe, resolving my future." Asked about his buy-out clause Miranda claimed "that is negotiable".
From Spain to Stoke and the Potters' announcement on their official website that they have snapped up Mame Biram Diouf and Dionatan Teixeira, taking their tally of new additions this summer to four in double-quick time. Striker Diouf arrives at the Britannia Stadium from German side Hannover 96, while 6ft 4in central defender Teixeira joins from Banska Bystrica in Slovakia.
Diouf, a Senegalese international, spent three years with Manchester United earlier in his career, as well as a loan spell with Blackburn, and Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes said of him: "He is keen to return to England to make an impact in the Premier League. We're pleased to be able to give him the platform to hopefully achieve that ambition."
The official Bundesliga website reports that Cologne have signed Chelsea defender Tomas Kalas on loan for the duration of next season. The 21-year-old Kalas joined Chelsea from SK Sigma Olomouc in 2010 but has spent much of the intervening period on loan at Dutch outfit Vitesse, though he appeared twice for the Blues last season under Jose Mourinho's tenure.
Still with Chelsea and the Daily Express says that Mourinho is prepared to put veteran gloveman Petr Cech on the market in a bid to tempt Atletico Madrid loan star Thibaut Courtois back to the Bridge. The 32-year-old Cech has made the No1 jersey his own since joining from Rennes in 2004 but it appears Mourinho believes his best days are behind him. Instead it's the 22-year-old Courtois who will be Chelsea's keeper of choice next season, just as soon as Mourinho convinces the Belgian to return from his loan spell in Madrid.