Arsenal to bid £27m for Karim Benzema
Transfer Talk: Arsene Wenger believes signing the Frenchman would prove Arsenal still have ambition
With Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas heading for the Arsenal exit door Arsene Wenger has decided that it is time to take some drastic action to improve morale at the Emirates, and to that end he is preparing to smash the Gunners' tranfer record and bid £27m for Real Madrid's Karim Benzema.
The Daily Mail reports that Wenger sees Benzema as the man to reinvigorate his squad and thinks getting a player of his standing on board would prove to Arsenal's other wantaway stars that the club has ambition.
The only fly in the ointment appears to be announcement from Benzema's agent earlier in the week, reported in Transfer Talk, that the Frenchman wanted to stay at Real and fight for his place. So the Gunners must hope that Jose Mourinho wants shot of the 24-year-old.
While they wait for some really big name signings Arsenal fans will have to content themselves with the arrival of Gervinho for £11m from Lille. He passed his medical on Wednesday but is not expected to be officially unveiled until Friday because of a glitch with the paperwork.
Perhaps Gervinho is eager to get his hands on the number eight jersey currently worn by Samir Nasri and is waiting for the French midfielder to leave the Emirates.
But a day after Manchester City appeared to have the deal for Nasri all wrapped up, it seems that Chelsea and Manchester United are also intent on getting their hands on the wantaway midfielder.
The Guardian claims that United had an bid of £20m for Nasri rejected two weeks ago and that Arsenal are now holding on for an offer of £25m. The paper says the two clubs had agreed not to make the bid public, but now that the chase for Nasri is hotting up news of United's interest has leaked out.
Meanwhile, the Metro says Chelsea have also emerged as serious rivals to City and United for Nasri's signature and suggests that a bidding war could quickly see his price escalate to £25m, considerably more than the £19m currently on the table from City.
Another in-demand French midfielder is Toulouse star Moussa Sissoko, and according to Talksport Manchester United are the latest club to express an interest in the 21-year-old. They are up against Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City who are also keen on the rangy, box-to-box midfielder, who has been likened to Patrick Vieira.
Sissoko almost joined Spurs a couple of seasons ago but the move broke down over the transfer fee, this time everyone is agreed that nothing less than £7m will do.
Elswhere, Charlie Adam will finally be unveiled as a Liverpool player today after agreeing a four-year deal with the Reds. Kenny Dalglish has forked out £7m for the Blackpool skipper, but the fee could eventually rise to more than £10m, according to the Mirror.
Adam is the second big signing of the summer for the Reds after Jordan Henderson arrived from Sunderland, and Dalglish is excited about the prospect of his two new midfielders linking up with strike pairing Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll who arrived on Merseyside in January.
Liverpool are also said to be hot on the heels of Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing, and after having had a bid of £15m rejected by Alex McLeish they are set to return with a new and improved offer, according to the Mail.
If that comes to naught then there could be another winger in Dalglish's sights. The website Caughtoffside suggests that the Liverpool boss is keen on Lyon winger Michel Bastos. The highly-rated 27-year-old Brazilian was due to move to Juventus but the deal has collapsed and now the Reds could step in with a bid of £12m.
Finally, the Mirror claims that Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is chasing his old Portsmouth enforcer Lassana Diarra, currently at Real Madrid. The 26-year-old has been short of first team chances under Jose Mourinho and he would be available for £18m. Apparently, Redknapp sees the French international as the ideal foil for Luka Modric, who has been told, yet again, that he is not going anywhere. ·