Arsenal want another striker as they chase Adrian Lopez
Wenger keen on Athletico Madrid frontman, what does it mean for Robin van Persie?
ARSENAL may have signed Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski already this summer, but what does it say about their prospects of keeping hold of Robin van Persie that the Gunners are still reportedly in the hunt for another striker?
According to CaughtOffside the Spanish media is full of reports that 24-year-old Adrian Lopez, who scored 19 goals for Athletico Madrid, is stalling on a new deal and that Arsenal are after him. The website says that both the Gunners and Bayern Munich are chasing the £14m-rated striker, but suggests that he might not be a replacement for RVP. The likes of Nicklas Bendtner, Carlos Vela, Park Chu-Young and Marouane Chamakh all heading for the Emirates exit, meaning there is plenty of room for strikers in north London.
That's not what the Daily Express thinks, however. The paper says Arsenal's concerns over the future of RVP have reached "boiling point" after Manchester City "showed their interest". But the paper produces absolutely no evidence to back this up, and even admits that Roberto Mancini will have to sell before he can buy.
Things are rather more interesting over at White Hart Lane where Luka Modric is about to hand in a transfer request, which will spark a £30m bidding war between Real Madrid and Manchester United. The Sun says United will offer cash for the player while Real prefer a cash-plus-players deal. Madrid are favourites at the moment according to the paper which claims Modric's agent has held talks with Madrid and an offer will be made to Tottenham in the next few days.
There is some good news as Spurs have announced that Gareth Bale won't be leaving the Lane this summer. Instead the Welsh winger has signed on for another four years with Spurs, much to the delight of the club who had been fearful of seeing him lured away by either Barcelona or Manchester United. Both clubs had been chasing the 22-year-old but they will now have to call off the hunt after Bale put pen to paper.
Speaking to the official Tottenham website, Bale said he had committed himself until 2016 because "the club is progressing and I want to be a part of that, so it was great to get the deal done".
The Lilywhites finished fourth last season, not quite good enough to see them qualify for the Champions League and that, says Bale, was a factor in staying put. "I love the Club and the fans and I want to play my part in trying to get us back into the Champions League - where we belong."
Meanwhile there are conflicting signs regarding Spurs' hopes of landing Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen. The London club appeared to have received a boost after the Dutch club's manager, Frank de Boer, said a deal was imminent.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, de Boer said that Spurs and Ajax were working flat-out to facilitate the transfer of the 25-year-old Belgian blocker. "We're very close," he said. "I expect the deal will be done. I expect everything will be all right."
As if to underline his belief that Vertonghen won't be appearing in Ajax's colours again, de Boer said he was on the hunt for a replacement. "We need a player with experience when Jan leaves."
However The Sun says that the deal could be scuppered because of a clause in Vertonghen's contract stating he gets 15 per cent of the transfer fee. This has caused a stink at Ajax, who allegedly aren't keen to cough up that slice of the £9.5m fee offered by Tottenham.
Speaking to Dutch rag Algemeen Dagblad, Vertonghen complained: "I'm hoping for a solution, but I'm not expecting a solution…this is a shame. I thought that it would be sorted out much sooner. As it looks now, I'll be at Ajax on July 2 [for training]."
Good news for Gooners with the revelation that Arsenal's bungling goalkeeper Manuel Almunia will soon be emptying his Emirates' locker. The slipshod Spanish gloveman is apparently a target for Italian outfit Fiorentina and Talksport claims that Almunia "will be released at the end of the month". It's believed that Fiorentina's first choice was Palermo keeper Emiliano Viviano but that he turned them down.
The Metro says that Chelsea are scrabbling around for a full-back ahead of the new season what with Jose Bosingwa no longer on the Blues' books and Paulo Ferreira also surplus to requirements. According to the Metro, manager Roberto Di Matteo has come up with a four-man shortlist: Borussia Dortmund's Lukasz Piszczek, Gregory van der Wiel of Ajax, Lille's Mathieu Debuchy and Manchester United's Rafael da Silva.
If the rumours are right, Di Matteo has his heart set on 27-year-old Polish international Piszczek and he wants to seal the deal "by the end of next week".
Finally, the Daily Mail reports that Mario Balotelli won't be leaving Manchester City any time soon. The Italian striker, in action tonight against Germany in the Euro 2012 semi-final clash, had been linked with a move to Juventus. But Balotelli's agent, Mino Raiola, has told the Mail: "Italian football's economic situation means that at the moment top players can't come to Italy." ·