Sale of the duds: Arshavin and Torres poised to leave London

Jan 18, 2012
Bill Mann

Lazio ready to take Andrey Arshavin off Wenger’s hands while Torres could quit Chelsea for PSG

IT’S THE NEWS every Arsenal fan has been hoping for - Andrey Arshavin is heading towards Lazio in a £6m deal. According to the Daily Mirror, the rubbish Russian is wanted by the Italian outfit and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is “ready to listen to offers” even though Arshavin has 18 months left on his contract.

Since signing for Arsenal three years ago in a £12m deal from St Petersburg, the 30-year-old’s quality has declined each season to the point where Vladimir Putin would now pose more of a threat to opposition defences. The Mirror says that while his former club are interested in taking him back, Wenger will cut his losses this month and offload Arshavin to Lazio.

Talking of goal-shy duds, the Metro claims that Fernando Torres has been offered to Paris Saint Germain as the Blues look to get shot of the £50m Spaniard.

Since arriving at Chelsea a year ago from Liverpool, Torres has scored just five times and is now used primarily to warm the bench at the Bridge. But that could all change after PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti told reporters that Torres is one of several players who have been offered to him in the past fortnight.

“There is a lot of choice for this January market,” said Ancelotti, who took over at the French club last month. Pressed to name names, the former Chelsea coach said: “OK, now I tell you the players the agents are offering on the market, officially or not: Carlos Tevez, Fernando Torres, Dimitar Berbatov, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Edinson Cavani, Fernando Llorente.”

Though Ancelotti refused to elaborate on whether PSG would make a move for Torres, the Metro speculates that Chelsea would happily sell the Spaniard if they could get anywhere near the £50m they paid for him last January.

Talksport reports that Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala is the latest to be linked with Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov.

Earlier this week it was reported that German clubs Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen were both on the trail of the 30-year-old Bulgarian, but Talksport reckons that cash-rich Anzhi see Berbatov as the perfect foil to Samuel Eto'o, who joined the Russian revolution last year. And apparently Berbatov could be “tempted” by a lucrative move eastward.

Talking of heading east, Robert Pires has ended speculation that he could be about to return to the Emirates by announcing his intention to take up the offer of employment in India.

The 38-year-old French midfielder was last week linked with a loan deal with Arsenal – the club where he made his name a decade ago. But in an interview with French sports rag L’Equipe, Pires confirmed he was off to play in the Indian premiership league, which debuts next month. “Since I had nothing in Europe, why not try something completely unknown?” said Pires. “I am proud to be the first Frenchman to go and play there.”

Pires is also chuffed at the money on offer for a two-month contract: “If my (club) president likes me, it could be €790,000 euros. It is a lot of money. I’m not going to complain about that am I?”

In other news, the Daily Mail reports that Newcastle United have sealed a £10m deal with Freiburg frontman Papiss Demba Cisse. The 26-year-old has netted nine times this season for the German club, attracting the attention of Arsenal, Spurs and Aston Villa. The Senegal striker will receive a £40,000-a-week salary to wear the No 9 shirt previously sported by Jackie Milburn, Alan Shearer and Malcolm Macdonald.

One player who doesn’t seem likely to be going anywhere is Blackburn defender Chris Samba. The Congolese star handed in a transfer request on Monday but that has been given short shrift by the Rovers. A terse statement on their official website ran: “Blackburn Rovers reiterate that team captain Christopher Samba is not for sale. The player signed a new contract with the club less than a year ago which runs to June 2015."

Rovers’ determination to hang on to Samba will come as a blow to Arsenal and Spurs who both have their sights set on the centre-back.

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