Robin van Persie targeted by cash-rich Anzhi
Transfer Talk: Gunners could lose Dutch striker but gain Peruvian midfielder Juan Manuel Vargas
ARSENAL striker Robin van Persie is being lined up for a shock move to Anzhi Makhachkala. The devastating news for Gunners fans was revealed by the Russian club's player-manager Roberto Carlos in an interview with French broadcaster Canal Plus during their Football Club show.
Anzhi, owned by billionaire Suleyman Kerimov, have more cash than Arsenal have dodgy defenders and have already enticed Samuel Eto'o from Inter Milan by offering him £250,000 a week.
Now Carlos says their ambitions are as limitless as their bank balance with Van Persie on their shopping list as well as Chelsea's French frontman Nicolas Anelka. "Anelka is not the only player (we are hoping to buy)," said Carlos. "Nene from PSG and Van Persie from Arsenal are players we are following... Suleyman Kerimov can offer what he wants."
It's believed that Anzhi Makhachkala will enter the transfer market in January and with Van Persie recently refusing to negotiate an extension to his existing contract at Arsenal, speculation is mounting that the Dutch star will join the north London exodus sooner rather than later. That's despite a report in the Daily Mail that Van Persie will be offered an improved deal by the Gunners, one that will see a "significant" increase in his current £70,000-a-week wages.
Better news for Arsenal fans comes in the Metro, which reports that Arsenal are planning a New Year swoop for Juan Manuel Vargas. Apparently Fiorentina will sell the Peruvian midfielder provided the Gunners meet their £12m asking price.
It's believed Arsene Wenger made enquiries about 28-year-old Vargas in the summer but was knocked back by the Italian club, leading the nutty professor to sign Andre Santos from Fenerbahce instead. Now the Metro claims that with Vargas struggling for form in the Serie A, Fiorentina and Arsenal will come to an agreement in January as Wenger seeks a replacement for Gervinho who will be away that month on African Cup of Nations duty.
Vargas's might not be the only new face at the Emirates. According to Talksport, the Gunners are hopeful of signing Toulouse defender Aymen Abdennour. Apparently Arsenal scouts have been monitoring the 22-year-old Tunisia international this season and have sent back favourable reports to Wenger.
Spanish rag Marca claims that Borussia Dortmund playmaker Mario Gotze is being courted by Real Madrid. The twinkle-toed German international has won a host of admirers in the last 12 months for his displays for Dortmund.
Among interested parties are Arsenal, Barcelona and Manchester United but, according to Marca, Real Madrid will move heaven and earth to beat off the competition and seal a deal for the 19-year-old midfielder.
In other news, Tottenham are keeping tabs on giant gloveman Zeljko Brkic despite Brad Friedel performing well between the sticks this season for the Lilywhites. At 25, the 6ft 6in Brkic is 15 years the junior of Friedel and Spurs boss Harry Redknapp sees the Serb as a long-term solution to Spurs' history of diffident keepers.
Currently on loan from Udinese at Italian Serie A outfit Siena, Brkic told reporters: "I have heard that Tottenham scouts are looking at me. But at the moment I am fully focused on Siena."
Finally, Sky Sports reports that Corinthians want to take Carlos Tevez off Manchester City's hands. The Argentine striker remains in the doghouse following his refusal to come off the bench two weeks ago against Bayern Munich. But in an interview with Sky Sports, Corinthians general manager Edu said: "We are here in England to start talks, to see how the situation is. We will see if we can do a deal - he is very famous in Brazil and everyone loves him, and the fans want him."