Van Persie cagey over Arsenal, Liverpool eye up Berbatov
Arsenal star in talks this week with Wenger, Liverpool could lose Skrtel, gain Berbartov
TRANSFER TALK... is there any point today after the extraordinary events of Seismic Sunday? For instance, according to The Sun Manchester City are eagerly pursing Eden Hazard. Well, they were before the Sky Blues rose Lazarus-like from the dead to defeat QPR and win their first title for 44 years. Perhaps they've now changed their mind. I mean, if it ain't broke don't fix it. The 21-year-old Belgian has let it be known that he's soon to be leaving Lille but for the time being his destination – like Tottenham's hopes of playing in next season's Champions League – remain uncertain.
The future of Robin van Persie remains up in the air. While several of the Sunday papers reported comments from the Dutchman's wife, to the effect that she loves her London lifestyle, the man himself didn't exactly give a ringing endorsement of the Arsenal set up after the Gunners' nervy 3-2 defeat of WBA ensured a third place finish. Asked about his future, Van Persie replied: "We will have a chat next week somewhere. You never know but Arsenal is a massive club, a great club. I have been playing here for eight years and I love this club. Whatever happens that will never change. We will see. We will have a chat and go from there."
Liverpool are reportedly considering making a move for out of favour Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov. Caught Offside says Kenny Dalglish is looking to beef up his attack this summer and the Bulgarian certainly has Premier League experience. The 31-year-old forward made just five starts this year, but was joint top scorer last term. He has already been linked with Lazio and Bayern Leverkusen and will not want to sit on the bench at Old Trafford for another year.
Staying at Anfield, Goal reports that Martin Skrtel will stun Liverpool this summer by asking to leave the club. The popular defender has been an outstanding performer for Liverpool in an otherwise lacklustre season, and his partnership with Daniel Agger has been key to the Red's decent defensive record. But Skrtel wants Champions League football – something he’s unlikely to see with Kenny Dalglish’s side in the near future.
Over at Old Trafford, Manchester United are to make a bid for right-back Mathieu Debuchy, after Lille indicated the defender would be allowed to leave in the summer transfer window. Metro says the 26-year-old is keen to move on in the summer and reports in France suggest his club will sell if a £6.5million bid is received. Interest in the defender hasn’t just been from English clubs - scouts from Bayern Munich and Valencia are also known to be interested. Fergie travelled to France to see Debuchny in action when Lille faced Lyon in March - right-back has been a problem position for United this season and Ferguson has been forced to deploy central defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling there.
Staying with United and the Daily Mail reports that Alex Ferguson spent Saturday night in Berlin watching a trio of Borussia Dortmund help their side thrash Bayern Munich 5-2 in the German cup final. One of the three, Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, scored a hat-trick, while the 23-year-old Shinji Kagawa also got on the scoresheet. The Japanese attacking midfielder has been linked with Arsenal in recent weeks but with United's trophy cabinet now as empty as Joey Barton's head it appears the Red Devils are making a concerted effort to rebuild and see Kagawa as part of those plans.
In addition, claims the Mail, Ferguson also ran the rule over defender Mats Hummels and have invited his dad (also his agent) to Old Trafford for talks. It's believed United would have to pay around £50 for the trio but Dortmund managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke appeared to be ready for a fight, saying: "We expect Kagawa to go, but no amount of money will persuade us to sell the others."
In other news Liverpool have set out their stall for next season by going after Wigan midfielder Momo Diame. Whether the 24-year-old is the sort of player the Reds need to drag them out of mid-table mediocrity remains to be seen but according to the Daily Star Liverpool "are set to get him on a free" in the summer. The French-born Senegal international joined Wigan in 2009 but is said to have grown disenchanted with life at the Latics and as a result will jump at the chance to join the once great Merseyside club.
The People claims that Chelsea are showing more staying power in the chase for Radamel Falcao than they did in the Premier League this season. The Colombian hitman, who scored twice for Atletico Madrid in their 3-0 defeat of Athletic Bilbao in the Europa Cup final last week, was first linked with the Blues last summer. However those stories, a bit like Ashleigh and Pudsey, turned out to be nonsense. But apparently Chelsea are now seriously considering a move for Falcao after his goalscoring exploits this season in the Spanish league. The People says it will cost the Blues £32m to get their man but that the club have arranged a meeting with Falcao's agent - Jorge Mendes – the week after their Champions League final with Bayern Munich.
Finally beleaguered Blackburn boss Steve Kean says he'll do what he can to hang on to Junior Hoilett, despite rumours linking the 21-year-old Canadian with a move to one of Arsenal and Tottenham. Kean admitted there was definite interest in winger Hoilett, telling reporters: "I can understand why because he has had some great performances, not only this season, but the past couple of seasons." And asked if he had resigned himself to losing Hoilett in the summer, Kean replied: "We'll make a last-ditch effort to put something in front of him. You never know." ·