Arsenal cool on Yann M'Vila and turn to Etienne Capoue
Capoue would cost half the price of M'Vila – but Gunners face competition from Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan
STILL UNSURE of whether they've persuaded Yann M'Vila to join them, Arsenal have come up with an alternative, says The Sun - and that's midfielder Etienne Capoue.
The Gunners have been chasing Rennes playmaker M'Vila for nearly as long as Pete Doherty's career has been in decline, but the tabloid says talks with the 21-year-old have "stalled" now that Manchester City are apparently trying to muscle their way in on the action.
So Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is looking at the 23-year-old Capoue (above) who, at £11.75 million, would cost half the asking price for M'Vila. But The Sun warns the Nutty Professor to get his skates on as he "faces competition from Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid".
Still with Arsenal, and apparently Juventus are "ready to make a move" for Arsenal defender Johan Djourou. Talksport claims that the Turin outfit think the Swiss international is the man to put some ballast in their back four. That will cause much head-scratching among Gooners, who have long since tired of Diourou's defensive blunders.
The 25-year-old has struggled to hold down his place in Arsenal's defence in recent seasons, which says something considering he's been up against the likes of Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos and Sebastien Squillaci. Talksport reports that Juventus "are set to open talks" with the Gunners and it won't be long before a deal is done.
With the reputation of Manchester United tumbling almost as precipitously as a Facebook share manager, Alex Ferguson is searching about frantically for someone who can make the Old Trafford trophy cabinet feel less lonesome. And according to the Manchester Evening News that someone may well be Luka Modric – especially now that Manchester City are tipped to trump United over the signing of Lille playmaker Eden Hazard.
The Tottenham midfielder is expected to leave the Lane next month following Spurs' failure to reach the Champions League, and the Croatian is being courted by United who want to beat Chelsea to his signature.
Meanwhile the humbly-named Spanish sensation Michu has opened the door to a big money move away from Rayo Vallecano and could be on Fergie's radar. The Daily Mail notes that the 26-year-old was the highest scoring midfielder in Spain last season and could be available for as little as £2m, a lot less than the £8m at which he is valued, thanks to his club's financial problems.
Manchester United and Liverpool are among the clubs to have watched the player, who has also been linked to othe Premier League sides including Stoke, Fulham and new-boys Southampton.
To other news and Manchester City have been told it's £40m or forget it as far as Thiago Silva goes. The AC Milan defender is apparently on the Sky Blues' wishlist, reports the Metro and boss Roberto Mancini has already been in touch with Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani.
Mancini is said to be concerned that City's defence was too easy to penetrate last season and believes that centre-back Silva will tighten things up. According to the Metro, Galliani has told City that they are prepared to sell the 27-year-old Brazilian international "for the right price".
Talking of Brazilians, Chelsea have apparently had a £32.3m bid for Lucas Moura rejected. The 19-year-old winger is the talk of the town following an outstanding season for Sao Paulo, but club president Juvenal Juvencio wants to milk the talented teenager for all he's worth. Speaking to broadcaster FCINTER1908, Juvencio said: "At the moment it is Chelsea that are the closest team to Lucas."
However he added that Inter and Real Madrid are in the hunt and the Spanish club have been in contact. Pressed on how much they would sell for, Juvencio replied: "Lucas is a big player who will triumph in Europe, but Sao Paulo will only sell him for an enormous offer."
Still with Chelsea and the Blues have confirmed on their website that Didier Drogba has feigned his last injury for the club. The 34-year-old, who scored the winning penalty in Chelsea's Champions League triumph, will be moving on next month, to a destination unknown.
"He feels the time is right for a new challenge," said Chief Executive Ron Gourlay, adding: "'The talks were amicable all the way through and we wish him all the best for the future. He is welcome back to Stamford Bridge at any time - either as a player or as a guest." ·