Deal to bring Chamakh to Arsenal is progressing well

Marouane Chamakh

Transfer Talk: Gunners are close to landing the striker, but Raheem Sterling joins Liverpool

BY Jonathan Harwood LAST UPDATED AT 07:19 ON Mon 1 Mar 2010

After the horror injury suffered by Aaron Ramsey at the weekened there was at least some good news for Arsenal after it emerged that the deal to bring Marouane Chamakh to the Emirates is progressing nicely.

According to the Mail work is going on behind the scenes that will lead to the Bordeaux striker signing a four-year deal with the Gunners when his contract in France expires in the summer. The paper says that chief executive Ivan Gazidis is conducting the negotiations with the player himself - but that the deal will be kept under wraps until the end of the season out of respect for Bordeaux.

Chamakh is free to talk to other clubs because of his contract situation, and while Arsenal are keeping quiet about the deal the player continues to drop hints. Last week he announced: "I've dreamed of the Premier League since I was a little boy. I am ready to discover the experience for myself."

But one player Arsenal have missed out on is 15-year-old sensation Raheem Sterling who has chosen to sign for Liverpool, despite keen interest from a host of other clubs inlcuding  the Gunners, Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Fulham.

The youngster, who is on QPR's books but has never made a first team appearance for the Hoops, is said to be as good as, if not better than, Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott were at the same age.

Liverpool have made an initial payment of £500,000 for the player and the fee could rise to as much as £2m depending on how he develops and the number of performances he makes.

The Mirror reports that the teenager will also get a £300,000 contract when he turns 17 - which may have influenced his decision.

The initial fee is less than some others had offered, City were reportedly prepared to pay £1m and offered players as well and QPR's local rivals Fulham thought their £1.5m offer would secure the signing.

The Sunday People reported this weekend that Spurs manager Harry Redknapp is still keen to sign Craig Bellamy, but would have to part company with star striker Jermain Defoe if he does.

Redknapp has tried to buy the mouthy Welsh striker in the past and was put on alert after Bellamy's recent clash with  City boss Roberto Mancini. However the player seemed committed to the cause as City beat Chelsea on Saturday and his club say they would only let him leave if they got Defoe in return.

According to the News of the World, West Ham will not stand in Robert Green's way if he wants to move to one of the big four this summer.

The keeper has a year left on his current deal at Upton Park and could be offered better terms, but the Londoners would not be able to compete with any deal offered from one of the Premier League big guns and would be prepared to cash in on the player rather than see him leave at the end of his contract.

"If any of the top four came in and he wanted to move we would allow him to," a source told the paper.

Expect a wave of headlines linking AC Milan prodigy Alexandre Pato to a Premier League switch after he innocently admitted that he had plenty of time for his former boss Carlo Ancelotti and made the fatal mistake of revealing that he liked the English game.

The 20-year-old said: "I follow English football a lot and Ancelotti," said Pato. "And the coach that brought me to AC Milan, is now at Chelsea and I love London."

But before anyone starts printing Chelsea shirts with Pato on the back it is worth remembering that the striker signed a new long-term deal at Milan in September and insists he is happy where he is.

Finally, Emmanuel Adebayor has added his name to the long list of Arsenal players who wish that they had never left the club. The Togo striker left the Emirates in what appeared to be acrimonious circumstances last year and moved to Manchester City for £25m.

"Arsene Wenger can never say that I wanted to leave," said Adebayor. "It was because Arsene didn't want me anymore."

If he still loved Arsenal, the striker didn't show it when City played the Gunners earlier in the season - Adebayor was banned for stamping on former team mate Robin Van Persie and almost starting a riot by celebrating in front of the Arsenal fans when he scored. · 

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