Song 'happy' at Arsenal, Spurs in 'concrete offer' for M'Vila
Wenger lines up Bendtner, Mexes swap deal as Sahin move gets closer
PERHAPS Arsenal midfielder Alex Song could give Robin van Persie some lessons in diplomacy. While both players seem likely to be heading out of the Emirates this summer Song appears to be doing so with some grace, and if his proposed move to Barcelona falls through he should be able to mend his relationship with the fans.
While Van Persie told the world he wanted to leave Arsenal in stroppy outburst on his website and then refused to join the Gunners on their tour of the Far East, Song has conducted himself in a rather less mercenary fashion. And after it was reported that Barca had made a bid for him, Song made it clear that until any move was confirmed he was still comitted to the Arsenal cause.
"I am not going to lie if I said there is no interest but I am at Arsenal and I am happy at Arsenal," he told Sky Sports. "Barcelona are the best team in the world, and speculation will always continue until the window closes."
According to Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo negotiations over a move are continuing, but the Gunners have apparently told the Spanish giants they "want youngster Cristian Tello as part of any deal".
The agreement would also entail Barcelona handing over £20m in readies, as well as the 21-year-old Tello. The twinkle-toed winger broke in the Barcelona first team last season but it's thought new boss Tito Vilanova doesn't see him as a regular starter this campaign and may be tempted by Arsenal's demand.
If Song does leave, then Arsenal appear to have cover already lined up in the form of Turkish international Nuri Sahin. Spanish paper AS reports that the Real Madrid man will finally move to the Emirates on a season-long loan this week. That said, he has been on the verge of signing for about a fortnight, so it remains to be seen if he does finally put pen to paper.
One long-standing Arsenal target who apparently won't be joining the Gunners is Yann M'Vila. The player let it be known over the weekend that he had a "concrete offer" from an English club, but it is believed to have come from Spurs rather than Arsenal, says Sky Sports.
Of course, we have been here before. Earlier in the summer the player's agent announced that he was joining Arsenal, in a brazen attempt to get Inter Milan to make a better bid for the player. So any noises from the M'Vila camp should be taken with a pinch of salt.
It is also rather telling that M'Vila also said: "If I have to stay with Rennes for another year, I'll stay - if I go, that is life - but whilst I am here, I am 100 per cent focused."
Elsewhere and Arsenal and AC Milan are apparently preparing for a game of swapsies involving Nicklas Bendtner.
According to Italian rag Corriere dello Sport the Gunners could be on the brink of exchanging Bendtner for Milan defender Philippe Mexes. The deal would certainly make sense considering Bendtner has made as much impact at the Emirates as a French cyclist at the Olympics.
He spent last season on loan at Sunderland and now it appears Arsene Wenger is set to finally offload the dawdling Dane. Corriere dello Sport claims that the 30-year-old Mexes will be offered to Arsenal in exchange for Bendtner as the Italian outfit seek a replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored twice for new club Paris Saint-Germain at the weekend.
Meanwhile the Metro says that the race to sign Theo Walcott is hotting up after Inter Milan made clear they intend to bid for the England winger. Even though Walcott has a reputation for being more inconsistent than an Olympic boxing judge, that hasn't stopped Inter eyeing up the 23-year-old, whose contract expires next summer.
Nevertheless the Metro claims Liverpool will "make a formal offer this week" despite the fact Arsenal are rumoured to be reluctant to sell Walcott to a rival Premier League club. That apparently has given Inter heart and they are expected to come in with an offer of their own in the next few days.
Everton have accepted Manchester City's offer for Jack Rodwell, according to the Mirror, with the 21-year-old passing a medical on Sunday. The transfer – for £15m once add-ons have been factored in - is City's first acquisition of the summer but it's one that has pleased boss Roberto Mancini.
Speaking before his side beat Chelsea 3-2 in the Charity Shield, Mancini said of his new midfielder: "We consider Jack a good player, a young player, he will be an important midfielder for England in the future and for us." The Mirror reports that Rodwell has signed on for five years and will wear the number 17 shirt.
Finally Mathieu Debuchy has used Canal Plus to beg Newcastle to take him to Tyneside. The Lille defender is desperate to move to the Magpies but Lille have so far refused to accept Newcastle's offers. Speaking to Canal Plus, the 26-year-old Debuchy said: "The transfer window [in France] is open until September 4. I still want to go. We will see.