Arsenal court Michy Batshuayi with Belgian slow-dance

Gunners send scouts after Batshuayi as Real Madrid begin to circle around Suarez

BY Bill Mann LAST UPDATED AT 11:00 ON Fri 6 Dec 2013

HAVING been blown out by Alvaro Morata Arsenal are now making eyes at Standard Liege striker Michy Batshuayi.

That’s the claim made by the Daily Star, which says that the Gunners are “lining up a move” for the 20-year-old. Admittedly, it’s not the first time this month, or even this week, that Arsenal have been linked with a young talent, but the Star says the Premier League leaders are so serious about Batshuayi they’s even sent their scouts to see him in action in Belgium.

With 14 goals to his name this season, Batshuayi would be a welcome addition to the Gunners’ squad – though do Arsenal need another striker now that Mr Top-Knot himself, the one and only Nicklas Bendtner, has remembered what to do with a football?

Liege president Roland Duchatelet is quoted by the Star saying: “Arsenal are just one of many clubs who are chasing our striker Michy.” Asked whether the club would be willing to sell in the New Year, Duchatelet’s reply hinted that the Gunners will have to wait until the summer. “We are not willing to let Michy go this season."

If Duchatelet is the future, then Luis Suarez is the present and after his four goals in Liverpool’s thrashing of Norwich on Wednesday, the Evening Standard says Real Madrid are now circling. The paper says the Uruguayan is the Spanish club’s “number one target” with coach Carlo Ancelotti and president Florentino Perez in agreement that the 26 year-old striker must be brought to the Bernabeu.

With rumours suggesting Karim Benzema will leave Real for Arsenal in the next six months, Ancelotti will use the money from the sale to fund the purchase of Suarez, giving Real an enviable strike force of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and the Liverpool hitman. The Standard says Real officials “are now speaking openly” about the idea, and a move as early as January is a distinct possibility.

Still with Liverpool and Metro reports that the Reds are confident they’ll have their bid for Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka accepted in January. Boss Brendan Rodgers apparently sees the 21-year-old Xhaka as the ideal man to replace Steven Gerrard when he finally hangs up his boots.

Gerrard will be 34 by the time next season starts and Rodgers has already ordered his scouts to draw up a list of names to replace the Anfield icon.

After a string of eye-catching displays in the Bundesliga this season, Xhaka heads the list and Metro says Rodgers might make his move in the New Year, presumably using the money made on the sale of Suarez of Madrid.

Finally, the Mirror reports that Porto are hoping to take Anderson on loan from Manchester United in January. The Brazilian midfielder moved to Old Trafford in a £24m deal in 2007 but according to the Mirror he is likely to return to Porto next month, with a clause allowing for the Portuguese club to make the move permanent if all goes well in the second half of the season. 

United boss David Moyes is reported to be willing to release Anderson and the Mirror says he’s looking to bring in Benfica playmaker - and former Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic – in a £20m deal. · 

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