Arsenal sign Olivier Giroud, chase Russian ace Alan Dzagoey
Arsene Wenger looks to complete a hat-trick of Euro 2012 star signings
ARSENAL have bagged Montpellier marksman Olivier Giroud and will make an official announcement to that effect after France have been eliminated from Euro 2012.
That's what France Football claims - and the respected journal says the deal "has been completed" and Arsenal will soon reveal further details of what is believed to be a four-year deal.
Apparently, Arsenal paid £12m to secure the services of the 25-year-old striker, whose goals last season helped Montpellier lift the French league title for the first time in their history.
The Daily Mail confirms the deal and says Giroud will replace the misfiring Moroccan Marouane Chamakh and not skipper Robin van Persie.
Russia's Euro 2012 star Alan Dzagoev has opened the door to a potential move to the Emirates this summer, saying he is ready to leave CSKA Moscow, Caught Offside says. Despite Russia's shock exit from the tournament on Saturday night, Dzagoev has emerged as one of Euro 2012's leading lights with three goals in as many games.
Having already snapped up Lukas Podolski, who scored for Germany against Denmark on his 100th appearance and with the Giroud deal apparently finalised, the signing of Dzagoev would complete a very welcome hat-trick of Euro 2012 stars for Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal outcast Nicklas Bendtner has done himself no harm with his goal-scoring pant-revealing antics in Euro 2012, says Talksport. The striker's two goals for Denmark against Portugal have sparked interest from last year's Primeria Liga runners up Benfica.
Bendtner spent last season on loan to Sunderland, where he scored eight times in 30 appearances and the 24-year-old now looks set for a permanent departure from the Gunners.
In what has been a week of shocking revelations, not least of which was the sight of Nicklas Bendtner's underpants, the China Daily Post has trumped the lot with its announcement that Didier Drogba has agreed to join Shanghai Shenhua.
According to the paper, club owner Zhu Jun "confirmed" that the 34-year-old Ivorian hitman is on his way east to link up with former Chelsea teammate Nicolas Anelka. Although Zhu wouldn't comment on reports, Drogba will have his nest feathered to the tune of £10m a season.
"I have never mentioned the price on my weibo [twitter]," Zhu replied when asked about the deal struck with Drogba. Apparently representatives from Shanghai Shenhua flew to the Ivory Coast on Friday to finalise the move but Zhu said the club would not make an official announcement "until Drogba releases the news himself through his personal website.
Elsewhere and the Metro claims Manchester United will dangle a new contract before Rafael da Silva in order "to fend off interest from Premier League rivals Chelsea".
Apparently the 21-year-old full-back has caught the eye of Blues boss Roberto di Matteo in recent months, prompting United manager Alex Ferguson to offer the Brazilian blocker a new and improved contract: "Manchester United are the club that opened the door to Europe for him," simpered da Silva's agent Cassiano Pereira.
"He is loved, respected and has prestige at the club. We are all very happy that he is renewing his contract." The news will disappoint Chelsea and Inter Milan, who were also reported to be showing an interest in da Silva.
QPR have announced on their website that they've signed Andrew Johnson from Fulham on a two-year deal. The 31-year-old striker will be reunited with former Fulham boss Mark Hughes when he arrives at Loftus Road next month and Johnson said he was looking forward to the prospect: "Mark was brilliant when I was at Fulham... he said it'd be great to team up again and that he was thrilled about the possibility of me joining QPR."
Finally, Sky Sports reports that Liverpool target Gylfi Sigurdsson has been told by his employers to take time out to consider his future.
The Icelandic international shone for Swansea last season on loan from German outfit Hoffenheim, and he had been expected to sign permanently for the Welsh club. But that was before manager Brendan Rodgers jumped ship for Anfield and now it's believed he wants the 22-year-old Sigurdsson to join him at Liverpool.
In a statement released on their website, Hoffenheim said: "Gylfi Sigurdsson will not be with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim for the start of pre-season. He has, after consultation, obtained a prolonged holiday until 30th June."
Hoffenheim head coach Markus Babbel is quoted by Sky as saying: "Gylfi wants to stay in England and is in negotiations there. Thus, it makes no sense for both sides for him to return to Hoffenheim, perhaps only for a few days."
However, Babbel did add that if Sigurdsson and Liverpool can't thrash out a deal he'll be expected to report back for training at Hoffenheim on 1 July. ·