Arsenal may force Van Persie to see out contract, Juve back off
Striker has one year to go and Wenger may force him to see it out at the Emirates
IF ROBIN VAN PERSIE wants out of Arsenal he is going to have to wait. The Sun reports that the striker may have to stay at Arsenal even if he does not agree new terms with the club today. The Premier League's top scorer is meeting with boss Arsene Wenger and club chief executive Ivan Gazidis for crunch contract talks. Van Persie, 29, has just one year left of his current deal and is a target for champions Manchester City. If Van Persie does not take the £130,000-a-week offer the North London club could refuse to sell and make the player see out his contract.
Perhaps Juventus are aware of Arsenal's threat and plan on picking the striker up on a free next summer, as they have backed out of the race to sign him this year, according to Goal, and are lining up a move for Napoli forward Edinson Cavani instead.
Worryingly for Gunners fans the website also reports that Juve were put off by the Dutchman's wage demands.
Is Manchester City's title-winning squad already beginning to break up? That seems to be the case after Yaya Toure's agent gave an explosive interview with a Spanish radio station in which he claimed his client needs "new motivations".
Dimitri Seluk's comments to Catalan radio station RAC could be just a ruse to squeeze a new and improved contract from the Sky Blues but in the crazy world of football who knows? "Toure has done all he can do at City and needs new motivations," said Seluk, who of course wouldn't stand to gain anything personally if Toure did leave City. "He would like a new challenge."
The 26-year-old midfielder currently takes home £260,000 a week, barely enough to keep the wolf from the door in these harsh economic times, and few City fans would surely begrudge the Ivorian the chance to make a few more quid. Asked where Toure might be headed if he did leave City, Seluk replied: "He could sign for many big clubs, like Chelsea or Bayern Munich. We would like to see Barcelona join the race." The man's as shameless as Joey Barton.
Barcelona have restated their desire to sign Didier Drogba on a free transfer from Chelsea, according to The Sun. The Spanish giants want to offer Drogba, 34, a two-year deal worth up to £5 million a season to quit Chelsea and snub a move to China, Milan or the USA. Though a move to Shanghai FC could be far more lucrative, the lure of playing alongside Lionel Messi and Co could prove irresistible for the Ivory Coast star. A Barcelona source confirmed: "What the team needs is an attacking player who has the presence and strength to trouble defenders. Drogba has that profile and is one of the players the club are looking at."
Talksport says that three British clubs are in the race to sign Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle are all said to be interested in the 22-year-old who has been an outstanding performer in the French league this season. The talented youngster has earned a surprise call-up to the France squad and is in the preliminary 26-man party for Euro 2012.
The Daily Mail says that Lazio are ready to pounce if Roberto Di Matteo is overlooked for the Chelsea manager's job. Bayern Munich lie in wait on Saturday night and interim boss Di Matteo could have a big decision to make after the match as he is still in the dark about his Stamford Bridge future. Di Matteo said: "I'm relaxed about my future. I have a drive and a motivation to do something extraordinary for Chelsea. Whatever comes afterwards, there's always a reason why things happen."
Luka Modric sounded less than convincing when asked about his future at White Hart Lane, according to the Daily Mail. You may recall the 26-year-old was at the centre of one of last summer's most protracted contract negotiations. Spurs fans may have to suffer further nail-biting this year. The Croatia international said: "I will decide about my future after the Euros. I will make the decision where to continue my career. I'm ready for the big tests."
Elsewhere it appears that Marseille are finally close to giving Spurs what they want - namely frontman Loic Remy. According to the London Evening Standard the 25-year-old Frenchman, capped 17 times by his country, is tempted by Tottenham but is waiting anxiously for the outcome of Saturday's Champions League final between Chelsea and Bayern Munich.
If the Germans win then Spurs will play in next season's Champions League but if the Blues triumph it's the Europa League for the Lilywhites. That doesn't hold much appeal for Remy, says the Standard, in which case Arsenal might make a move for the striker.
As we reported back in March, the Gunners have always had a soft spot for Remy who is expected to line up for Les Bleus against England in next month's European Championships. The Standard says that Marseille, who knocked back a £22m offer from Spurs during the January transfer window, are now ready to accept that amount for a player who has also attracted interest from Juventus and AC Milan.
Still with Spurs, and German football magazine Kicker reports that they and Newcastle better get a shift on if they wish to snap up Stuttgart defender Serdar Tasci. Apparently Italian outfit Roma are sniffing around the 25-year-old and Kicker consider them "strong favourites" to sign the German international. Spurs and Newcastle have both sent scouts to check out Tasci in recent weeks but unless they act quickly they're likely to end up empty-handed.
To other news and Chelsea boss Robert Di Mateo has dismissed speculation that the club is looking to sign Atletico Madrid forward Radamel Falcao. ESPN report that the Falcao, scorer of 35 goals this season for the Spanish outfit, won't be moving to the Bridge as part of a deal for Chelsea frontman Fernando Torres. They quote Di Matteo as saying: "This is only speculation. I have a great relationship with Fernando, and I believe he will be here next season."
Finally, Darren Bent has said that he is happy to stay at Aston Villa despite mounting speculation on the striker's future at the midland’s club according to Sky. Speaking to the Birmingham Mail the 28-year-old said: "I signed for Aston Villa because I want to be here, and I still do." ·