Yann M’Vila hints at Arsenal move, is Modric off to Madrid?
Midfielder still 'likes Arsenal', Wenger ready to play hardball with van Persie over money
SHAKESPEARE once noted that 'the course of true love never did run smooth', and the saying remains as true today as it ever was after a penitent Yann M'Vila admitted that he still held a torch for Arsenal, despite the rather unfortunate events of last month when the player's agent announced that a deal had been struck with the Gunners in a cynical attempt to get Inter Milan to make an offer for him.
Back then, Arsenal responded by saying that they wanted nothing more to do with the French midfielder, who could make his first start of the Euro 2012 tournament against Sweden on Tuesday.
But time heals all wounds and now M'Vila appears to have offered Arsene Wenger an olive branch and is quoted in the Daily Mail as saying: "I like Arsenal and I like the Premier League. I don't know what is happening with the clubs, but yes, I would be interested in the Premier League and Arsenal." Whether Wenger is interested in paying £15m for the player remains to be seen.
The future of Robin van Persie remains a subject of fascination for the Fourth Estate with the Daily Star claiming that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has told the board 'Don't break the bank for Robin van Persie'.
Apparently the frugal Frenchman is anxious to hold on to his star striker but he won't be "held to ransom" by any exorbitant wage demands. The Star says that Wenger believes the new contract presented to Van Persie - a three-year deal worth £140,000-a-week as well as a £5 million -loyalty bonus - is as good as it gets, and if the Dutchman turns it down he can empty his locker.
The Star goes on to quote an unnamed (there's a surprise) Emirates insider, as saying: "Of course, Arsene wants Robin to agree the new deal and pledge himself to Arsenal.That goes without saying. But if that doesn't happen, he's made it clear to the board there will be no need to panic and they should sell Van Persie - at the right price."
Manchester City were front runners to sign Van Persie earlier in the month but the Star says if he leaves Arsenal it won't be to go to another English club. Instead he'll weigh up offers from Real Madrid, Juventus and Paris St-Germain.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror says Arsenal have "slapped a £30m price tag on striker Robin van Persie", although there was no evidence that he was worth that last night as Holland were sent packing by Portugal from Euro 2012.
The red top says that Juventus are the most determined to snap up the 28-year-old Van Persie after he made it clear he didn't want to join Russian outfit Anzhi.
The Mirror adds that Van Persie might not be the only high-profile Gunner to do a bunk this summer. Apparently there is "a question mark" over the future of Theo Walcott following his sublime cameo for England against Sweden on Friday. His wonder goal has caught the eye of Europe's top clubs, while talks between the Gunners and Walcott about a new deal "have reached deadlock". With just one year left on his contract Arsenal may decide to cash in on Walcott now before clubs realise every great game is followed by a dozen mediocre ones.
Still with the Gunners and the north-east paper The Sunday Sun says that the north London club "have made an initial enquiry" about Sunderland's Stephane Sessegnon". The 28-year-old attacking midfielder joined the Black Cats last year from PSG and apparently his form has come to the attention of the Arsenal boss. The Benin international is a favourite of Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill but the Sun says if Arsenal's bid is big enough the club will sell and invest the money in strengthening the squad.
Elsewhere in north London and the departure of Harry Redknapp from the Spurs hotseat will not delay the arrival of Jan Vertonghen at White Hart Lane, accoring to his agent Mustapha Nakhli. "Managers come and go. Of course Jan is sorry that Harry Redknapp is no longer there but he is going for the club," he told Metro.
But one player following 'Arry through the exit will be Luka Modric. The Croatian midfielder has been tipped to join Manchester United or Chelsea in a £30m deal but his friend and former international team mate Mate Bilic reckons he will be off to join Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid. He apparently told the Daily Mail: "He wants to play in the Spanish league. He loves the Premier League but he wants to play in Spain. He's very close to agreeing a move."
Finally, Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade has rubbished suggestions Chelsea have come in with an offer for 22-year-old frontman Stevan Jovetic. Rumours began circulating earlier in the month that the Blues had put £20m on the table for the Montenegro international, but in an interview with Italian broadcaster Radio 1, Prade said: "Absolutely not, it's not true. We do not know anything about an offer from Chelsea or any other team, Italian or otherwise." ·