Arsenal to offload Chamakh and Bendtner after Giroud deal
Deal for French forward is 90 per cent complete, says Wenger - bad news for some
ARSENAL'S deal to sign Olivier Giroud is 90 per cent complete according to Arsene Wenger and once the new man is completely on board then it will be time for the Gunners boss to jettison some ballast from the Good Ship Emirates.
Wenger told French TV station TF1 that he was looking forward to having Giroud (above) at the club. "I think he has exceptional potential and will integrate very well in our collective and our way of playing," he said. "He is a real team player and knows how to combine with other players and I'm sure he will do well with us."
But his arrival spells bad news for some people. The Daily Mail reports that once then £13m deal with Montpellier for the French striker has been completed the it will be time for Marouane Chamakh, Nicklas Bendtner and Carlos Vela to walk the plank.
Midfielder Denilson's fate remains clouded in mystery, hopwever. The Evening Standard reports that the Brazilian is due back at the Emirates after spending the last year on loan at Sao Paolo in his homeland. But the club have ruled out signing him permanently for £4.9m. He too could now find himself looking for new employers as he is surplus to the Gunners requirements.
Real Madrid are closing in on Spurs midfielder Luka Modric and are "confident of finalising a deal ahead of rivals Manchester United".
The 26-year-old Modric was in sparkling form for Croatia during Euro 2012, and apparently Real boss Jose Mourinho has got the green light from the board to pay Spurs £30m for Modric. The Daily Mail reports that Spurs are likely to accept the bid, allowing their new manager – whoever it may be – to dip into the transfer market ahead of the new season.
Meanwhile, Dutch flop Ibrahim Afellay has said he has no wish to leave Barcelona this summer. The 26-year-old had been rumoured in recent weeks to be mulling over his future, with a move to the Premier League suggested, but the Metro reports that Afellay is determined to stay put at the Camp Nou.
Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle had all been linked to the midfielder with reports in the Spanish press indicating that Afellay would be put on the market for a bargain £6m in the summer. Knee surgery disrupted Afellay's season in 2011-12 and new Barca coach Tito Vilanova has yet to unveil his squad for the new season. But the Metro quotes the Dutchman saying: "I can't wait for the new season to begin, so I can get back on the pitch, and prove my worth for Barcelona."
In contrast, one of Afellay's compatriots, AC Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf, has confirmed he is seeking a fresh challenge next season. Talksport says that the veteran – the first player to have won four Champions League titles with three different clubs – is likely to push for a move to the Premier League with Tottenham the favourites to sign the 36-year-old.
"Up until a few days ago I hadn't decided anything," Seedorf told Talksport. "My decision to leave Milan was only made recently [and] I will continue to play football in another team. I will take all the time that I need to make the best decision for me."
In other news, Portuguese broadcaster Antena 1 reports that Porto president Pinto da Costa has received no enquiries about the Hulk. The Brazilian striker has gone public this week with his desire to move to Chelsea, and while the Blues are believed to be keen, they've yet to make an offer.
"According to the newspapers, Hulk would be long gone now, but what I can guarantee today is that Porto have not yet received any offers for him," Da Costa said in an interview.
Elsewhere and the future of Gylfi Sigurdsson remains up in the air.
The Icelandic international enjoyed a stint on loan with Swansea last season before returning to German club Hoffenheim. They've made it clear they won't stand in Sigurdsson's way if he wishes to return to England, but will it be to Swansea or Liverpool?
New Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is rumoured to be after the 22-year-old, but newly-appointed Swansea manager Michael Laudrup also appreciates Sigurdsson. "He was on loan here and did very well," Laudrup told reporters. "He is owned by a German club [but] I would like him to stay, he did very well here."