Arsenal line up £20m Malaga striker Salomon Rondon
Wenger wants another forward, Ferguson to offer Everton £12m plus a player for Leighton Baines
COULD Arsenal have found the missing link for their attack in the form of Malaga striker Salomon Rondon, or are they eyeing up the Venezuelan striker as a replacement for Robin Van Persie?
Whatever the reason, the talk across Europe today is that the Gunners are sniffing around the La Liga club and are interested in making a bid for the big 22-year-old forward, who is valued at around £20m, according to the Daily Mail.
Gunners fans will already be well disposed towards Rondon after he forced former Manchester United striker and Emirates hate-figure Ruud Van Nistelrooy into retirement by overtaking him in the pecking order at Malaga last season. His goals also propelled the Spanish outfit into the Champions League for the first time in their history. But the word in Spain is that the Anchovies (yes, that really is their nickname) are on the lookout for a new strikeforce next season and that means that Rondon could be on his way out.
According to Caught Offside Arsene Wenger is still after another striker because he is not convinced that the likes of Marouane Chamakh, Gervinho and Nicklas Bendtner are capable of providing adequate support to new arrival Lukas Podolski and main striker Robin Van Persie. And that means he is keen on bringing the burly Venezuelan to the Emirates.
So desperate are Manchester United to land Leighton Baines that manager Alex Ferguson is "willing to offer Ji-Sung Park or one of the Da Silva twins" as part of any proposed deal with Everton.
According to goal.com, United see the England left-back as the man to replace Patrice Evra in their creaking defence though they're not sure he's worth the £20m that Everton are asking. So what they're proposing, claims goal.com, is to grease the Toffees' hand to the tune of £12m while loaning them either Park or one of the Da Silva boys.
Apparently "informal discussions" have already taken place, with United all-too aware that Everton's bank account contains nearly as much red as Cardiff's controversial new strip.
Fabio and Rafael can both slot in at full-back, although as goal.com points out, Fabio is also a handy left-back if somewhat prone to injury. He'd earlier been linked with a short-term move to Benfica but may now have to settle for a move to the Mersey.
Still with United and the Mirror says that they've fired an "opening salvo" in their war with Chelsea over Tottenham star Luka Modric. The Croatian midfielder wants away from the Lane this summer and the Blues have been long time admirers of the 26-year-old.
They had a £40m bid for Modric knocked back by Spurs a year ago when chairman Daniel Levy refused to let him go, but the Mirror claims Spurs are "unlikely to stand in his way for a second summer".
Apparently United have offered the Lilywhites £22m for Modric, four million less than Tottenham's asking price, but are just testing the water and will go higher if required. Ferguson is a fan and having lost out to Chelsea on Eden Hazard, he's going to be like a dog with a bone when it comes to securing the services of Modric
To other news and Chelsea's hopes of signing Brazilian magician Lucas Moura look to be as dead as a Dutch artist's cat. The Blues have been tracking the 19-year-old playmaker for months but Italian rag Corrierre dello Sport reports that Inter Milan are now closing in on the talented teen and are determined to get him "at all costs".
Two representatives from the Italian club will fly to Sao Paulo next week and Inter are confident they'll return with Moura's signature.
Reports last month suggested the Blues had offered Sao Paulo £32m for their young star – the same amount they ended up paying Lille for Eden Hazard – although it's believed Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich wants the pair to team up at the Bridge next season.
Elsewhere and Carlos Tevez has declared his wish to remain with Manchester City next season in a no-holds barred interview with Fox Sports. Tevez spent much of last season in a sulk before being welcomed back into the fold in the final weeks of City's triumphant league campaign. Back in Argentina for a summer break the fractious frontman admitted he wanted to end his career where it started – with Boca Juniors.
However, he added, he still has something to offer the Sky Blues: "The truth is that I finished the season very happy in England," said Tevez, who has been linked with a move to Italy in recent weeks. "I am feeling good, I have no desire to be thinking that I want to leave, my family are happy." ·