Man U face £30m Modric war, Arsenal chase Giroud, Dzagoev
Luka Modric could spark bidding war with PSG; Arsenal close in on Giroud
A MIGHTY row appears to be brewing between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain with Tottenham playmaker Luka Modric (pictured) the cause of the dispute. According to the Daily Mirror, the French outfit were in Poland on Sunday to run the rule over Modric as he helped Croatia to a 3-1 win over Ireland.
So impressed were PSG that they "are ready to offer £30 million" to Spurs, a whopping £8m more than United's initial bid. The Mirror says that Alex Ferguson got short shrift from the Lilywhites when he suggested that they might be willing to part with Modric for £22m, but PSG's opening offer is more likely to find favour with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
Apparently PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti regards Modric as a vital piece of his jigsaw as the Parisian club prepare for next season's Champions League. Having been taken over by a Qatari consortium in 2010, PSG have pots of cash and it's believed they're prepared to go higher than £30m if necessary in their bid to land Modric.
There could be more bad news on the cards for United with the Daily Mail reporting that Poland star Robert Lewandowski will be staying with Borussia Dortmund next season. The striker had been widely tipped to be heading to Old Trafford along with teammate Shinji Kagawa, who has already joined United.
However Dortmund's chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has denied the rumours, insisting that even if United offer £40m he will not be moving. "It does not matter if we are to receive bids," he told the snappily-titled Sportinformationsdienst. "I have said for weeks that Robert will be back in training with our club after Euro 2012 and his holiday leave. And this is what will happen."
Over at Arsenal there is good news and bad news. On the positive front it seems that the Gunners are closing in on Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud. But the paper that bears the good tidings, the ever-reliable Daily Mail, also carries a warning, and says if Giroud does head to the Emirates it will be to form a new-look strikeforce with Lukasz Podolski because Robin Van Persie is heading for pastures new. The paper reports that Manchester City and Juventus are the most likely destinations for Van Persie.
However, all is not lost in north London. The Metro says that Arsenal are in talks with Zenit St. Petersburg about a deal for Andrey Arshavin. The Russian striker was farmed out to Zenit in January on loan, helping the club win the domestic league title, and now he wants to sign on permanently.
That shouldn't be a problem for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who has long since tired of Arshavin's inconsistency, and all that remains is to agree a fee. The Metro says the clubs are in "informal talks" with Zenit valuing Arshavin at £5m. That's not enough, say the Gunners, who bought him from the Russian club in 2008 for £15m and "have asked for closer to £8 million".
Arsenal are pursuing young Russian midfielder Alan Dzagoev according to Bleacher Report, and although they haven't had the best of luck with Russian transfers (see: Arshavin, Andrey), they should try to close the deal on this rising star. The 21-year-old Dzagoev has recently has risen to world-wide recognition with his stellar play at Euro 2012, scoring two goals in Russia's 4-1 rout of the Czech Republic in their opening match.
In other news Talksport claims that Premier League champions Manchester City are tracking Brazilian teenager Leo Bonatini. The 17-year-old striker, who was first linked to the Sky Blues in December 2011, is currently with Brazilian club Cruzeiro who are anxious to hold on to Bonatini.
But what City want they usually get and Talksport report that the youngster is stalling over signing a new contract and has let it be known that he could be open to a move to England.
However, Italian outfit Juventus are also interested and Cruzeiro, if they realise the game is up, might try and get as much as they can for Bonatini by playing the two European giants off against each other.
Schalke boss Huub Stevens claims the German club are battling with Liverpool FC for the signature of Chelsea's Salomon Kalou, according to Goal.com. The 26-year-old Ivory Coast international will leave Stamford Bridge on a free transfer this summer as his contract expires on July 1 and he is currently considering his options. Stevens is keen to lure him to the Bundesliga outfit but says Kalou is also wanted at Anfield. "Kalou is a Bosman player," he said. "It's obvious - there are many other clubs keen on him. Liverpool for example. But I know for sure he wants to move away from England. This might be our chance."
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers wants Tottenham Hotspur defender Steven Caulker to be his first signing at Anfield according to Caught Offside. The Welshman believes Caulker is good enough to challenge for a first team spot at Anfield and this could tempt the youngster to push for a move. Spurs already have French international defender Younes Kaboul on their books and are close to finalising a deal to bring Ajax captain Jan Vertonghen to White Hart Lane.
Finally, the Sun reports that Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has been told where to get off by Ajax after his initial bid of £4m for their midfielder Vurnon Anita.
The Dutch champions are demanding twice as much for the highly-rated 23-year-old Anita and Ajax manager Ronald De Boer is adamant he won't sell for less than £8m.
Anita, capped three times by Holland, has attracted a host of admirers after a strong 2011-12 season but Newcastle are believed to be determined to land the playmaker. The Sun says Pardew is growing fearful that he might lose Cheick Tiote to either Chelsea or Manchester United and sees Anita as a ready-made replacement.