Wenger makes M'Vila and Biglia his top Arsenal targets
Gunners want a holding midfielder, as Man United line up striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
AS ARSENAL'S stellar run of form continues, Arsene Wenger has decided that his priority thus summer will not be reinforcing a defence that appears to have finally clicked, or bolstering an attack that relies on Robin Van Persie, but strengthening the spine of the team with a holding midfielder.
And according to The Daily Telegraph his two top targets are Yann M'Vila of Rennes (above) and Anderlecht captain Lucas Biglia.
M'Vila has long been a target for Wenger but he was unable to land him last summer. But now Rennes are resigned to losing the 21-year-old French international in the summer. However, he won't come cheap, and Real Madrid and Inter Milan are also interested, which could mean that Arsenal have to fork out in excess of £17m for the player.
If the Gunners fail to entice M'Vila the Telegraph says that Argentine international Biglia is next on the list to bolster the Arsenal midfield.
Neither Manchester United nor Liverpool look like landing the Brazilian centre-back Dede in the summer according to Lancenet. The 23-year-old, currently employed by Vasco da Gama, has been courted by a number of European clubs of late, including the Premier League pair.
Liverpool were believed to be keenest to sign the £10m-rated defender but with their season sinking like Julian Fellowes's Titanic he's clearly having second thoughts. "I am not ready to leave," he told Lancenet. "When I am, I will say. Right now, I have to enjoy what is happening to me at Vasco. It is too soon to leave."
The news might be the reason why - as we reported yesterday - United boss Alex Ferguson will apparently offer the ageing Rio Ferdinand the chance to extend his stay at the club beyond next season.
Fulham's trip to Old Trafford on Monday night might have been as pointless as James Cameron's visit to the Mariana Trench, but the Evening Standard claims Cottagers boss Martin Jol made good use of his time in Manchester.
The paper says Jol aims to entice the former England defender Michael Carrick to Craven Cottage in the summer, a move that would reunite the pair after a long absence. It was Jol who handed Carrick his Tottenham debut in 2004 following a move from West Ham.
Though Carrick, now 30, is contracted to United until 2014, the Standard says Jol wants him to become the club's new "midfield general" in place of 35-year-old Danny Murphy. Ironically the two players clashed at Old Trafford with Jol later claiming that Fulham should have had a penalty as a result.
In other news, Goal.com claims an exclusive with a report stating that Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is after a fresh challenge – and that might include a move to the Premier League.
The 28-year-old Dutchman has been linked to both Spurs and Manchester United in recent months but apparently his 40 goals in 39 appearances this season have also caught the eye of Bayern Munich. The German giants are rumoured to be lining up a summer bid, but it remains to be seen if the man they call 'The Hunter' wants to continue in the Bundesliga.
Schalke for their part are allegedly trying to tempt Hunteelar into staying loyal to them by offering him £7m per season, a figure that would make even a co-chairman of the Conservative Party blanch.
However, Caught Offside reports that Manchester United are lining up a £12m bid for the striker, who would fill the void at Old Trafford left by the departing Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen.
Finally, the Daily Mail reports that Manchester City "have decided to offload" Edin Dzeko at the end of the season after both player and manager realised it would be for the best. City boss Roberto Mancini has apparently told the Bosnian striker that he's prepared to sell him after a largely unsettled two-year stint in the Premier League.
The Mail says the news will prick up the ears of Juventus and Real Madrid, both of whom have been monitoring the 26-year-old since news first broke that he wasn't enjoying life in England. ·