Arsenal offer up Chamakh in swap deal for Olivier Giroud
Arsenal hope to lure Montpelier striker but admit that they can't match City's wages
FOR THE first time, Arsenal have admitted that they won't be able to hold on to Robin van Persie if he's interested in just money.
In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has said they can't go head to head with moneybags Manchester City, believed to chasing the 28-year-old Gunners captain who has a year left on his Emirates contract.
"He is vital to us and has been an extremely good captain," declared Hill-Wood, "but if somebody comes along and offers Robin £250,000 a week then I am afraid we cannot compete with that."
Van Persie has said he'll weigh up his future once Holland have been dumped out of the European Championships, which won't be long now they've lost their opener to Denmark, but Hill-Wood told the Mirror he has no idea what the Dutchman is planning.
"With players, you never know what they are going to do," he said. "Some players say they want silverware but when they have the chance to earn the extraordinary money that has been pumped into the game, then you just have to hope they will stay because they are happy and loyal where they are."
Arsenal may be hoping that Van Persie stays but it seems they would be more than happy to see the back of non-scoring centre forward Marouane Chamakh. Rumours that he could be the makeweight in a deal to bring Olivier Giroud to the Emirates have resurfaced in France, where radio station RMC suggests that Giroud is definitely on his way out of Montpelier this summer.
The station is convinced that Arsenal, along with QPR, Atletico Madrid and Malaga, are interested in the player and will begin talks about signing him in "the coming hours". Chamakh, it says, is part of the proposed deal. The station also raises the intriguing possibility of a transfer to Chelsea, and the prospect of Romelu Lukaku moving in the opposite direction.
The Gunners are also said to be in pursuit of Malaga marksman Salomon Rondon. The Daily Star claims that the 22-year-old Venezuelan is on Arsene Wenger's wishlist and could be bought for £15m as a replacement for Van Persie. Rondon, who has played over 20 times for his country, was Malaga's top scorer in last season's La Liga and has a growing reputation in Spain.
Meanwhile, further fuel to the fire concerning Van Persie comes from the Daily Express. They claim that the Sky Blues are in talks with German champions Borussia Dortmund about a deal for striker Edin Dzeko, prompting speculation that City boss Roberto Mancini is so confident of landing Van Persie he's happy to offload the Bosnian frontman.
Dortmund, for their part, want Dzeko as a replacement for Robert Lewandowski, who if the rumours are true, is bound for Manchester United this summer.
The Daily Mail claims that Chelsea midfielder Ramires has "revealed he wants to return to former club Cruzeiro". The Brazilian arrived at the Bridge in August 2010 from Cruzeiro and though he was a member of the Blues' Champions League-winning squad, the 25-year-old is quoted by the Mail as saying: "Although it's not a decision I can make and difficult because my price is very high. If Cruzeiro could raise the money, I would go back for sure."
Finally, Schalke manager Huub Stevens has admitted he's on the tail of Tottenham midfielder Rafael van der Vaart.
Speaking to Dutch journal Voetbal International, Stevens said the German club have opened up a channel of communication with the Dutchman's agent, Robert Geerlings.
"Schalke won't say no to Van der Vaart," said Stevens, who coached Van der Vaart when he was boss of Hamburg in 2007-08. "We are in contact with his agent... I haven't spoken him yet, he's with his mind on the Euros. His agreement with Tottenham is still running, so it seems that we have to pay a transfer." ·