Arsenal and Liverpool eye loan deals for Costa and Manquillo
Brazilian wants out of Ukraine as Gunners and Reds chase Spanish defender
The refusal of Brazilian forward Douglas Costa to return to Shakhtar Donetsk has put Arsenal and Tottenham on alert.
The Daily Express reports that the two north London clubs are monitoring the 23-year-old's situation after he admitted he doesn't want to go back to Donetsk "because of the volatile state of the Ukraine".
Instrumental in helping Shakhtar win their fifth successive Ukraine Premier League title last season, the Brazilian has four years left on his contract and the Express says as a result a "permanent deal is unlikely" at this stage. But a one-year loan deal might be the best way for Shakhtar to manage their unsettled sharpshooter and Arsenal and Tottenham are both being linked with a short-term move for the youngster.
In other news the Daily Star claims that Liverpool are about to sign Atletico Madrid defender Javier Manquillo on loan. That news will go down like a Per Mertesacker dance routine at the Emirates with Arsenal purportedly looking to sign the Spain Under-20 right-back as back-up for the recently-arrived Mathieu Debuchy.
Takings as its source Spanish paper AS, the Star says that Manquillo was "concerned he wouldn't get a lot of first-team football at the Emirates" whereas he believes he'll be given a lot more game time at Anfield, which doesn't say much for Glen Johnson and Jon Flanagan. Liverpool gaffer Brendan Rodgers is confident the deal is in the bag with Manquillo set to complete the switch in the coming days.
The Evening Standard says that Swansea left back Ben Davies is virtually a cast-iron Spurs players after being photographed training with Tottenham even though he has yet to officially transfer from the Liberty Stadium. Apparently the two clubs "have been locked in talks" during their respective pre-season tours of the USA but the Standard says Davies, along with goalkeeping teammate Michel Vorm, will join the Lilywhites shortly, while Iceland international Gylfi Sigurdsson will leave Tottenham and return to Swansea as part of the deal.
According to Goal.com Southampton boss Ronald Koeman and the club "have lost patience" with Dani Osvaldo after he failed to show for pre-season training. Described by Goal.com as "troubled" – perhaps "spoiled" might be another word – the Italian striker should have presented himself at St Mary's this week. But the club's record signing, who arrived in a £15m deal from Roma last season, was nowhere to be seen.
"He was too late," fumed Koeman. "The decision of the board was to allow him not to come back. We have to look for opportunities for him to play in a different team." Osvaldo was loaned out to Juventus in January and it's believed he could look to make that move permanent.
QPR chief Tony Fernandes took to Twitter to confirm that the club have snapped up Steven Caulker from Cardiff City. The 22-year-old centre-back successfully completed a medical on Tuesday and it's believed Rangers paid the Bluebirds in the region of £8m for Caulker. "I would like to announce the signing of Stephen Caulker to Queen's Park Rangers," tweeted Fernandes. "Welcome."
Finally, BBC Sport reports that Stoke City have signed Bojan Krkic from Barcelona on a four-year deal. The 23-year-old striker was once regarded as one of the brightest prospects in Europe and even won a cap for Spain in 2008. But he spent last season on loan at Ajax and has been signed for an undisclosed fee. "Anyone who knows European football will be aware of him as a player and the fact that he sees his future at Stoke City is really exciting," said Potters boss Mark Hughes.