Arsenal offer £9m for Brazilian Paulinho and track Holtby
Liverpool after Arsenal target Dempsey, Van Persie to Juventus, or even Fenerbahce
WITH Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott apparently heading for the Arsenal exit door and an air of gloom hanging over the Emirates, Arsene Wenger has decided to try and cheer everyone up by signing an exciting young Brazilian who can help bring the good times back to north London.
According to the Daily Mail the Arsenal boss has offered Corinthians £9m for their star player Paulinho. The central midfielder still has three years to run on his contract and the Sao Paulo side are anxious to hold on to him, so Arsenal may have their work cut out persudaing the 23-year-old to join them.
They may also find it hard to convince him to return to Europe after he spent two seasons in Lithuania and Poland as a teenager. The midfielder did well but decided to return to his native Brazil after suffering racist abuse from the fans. But it could be worth Wenger's as he is touted as a star of the future, and has 21 goals in 122 games for Corinthians and a single cap for Brazil. What's more he would probably be a better bet in midfield than Arsenal's other Brazilian 'star', Denilson.
If he can't get his hands on Paulinho, the Mail also reports that Wenger is after Schalke's Lewis Holtby, the son of an English soldier who has two senior caps for Germany. He only has a year left to run on his contract and has stated his desire to play in England. He also has the nickname 'lucky' which might make him welcome at the Emirates.
Meanwhile the future of Robin van Persie remains up in the air, with the ver-reliable ClubCall suggesting that he could decided to snub his chief suitors, Manchester City, and quit England altogether for Juventus.
The most unlikely rumour about his destination emanates from Turkey, where new Fenerbahce signing Dirk Kuyt has declared that his Dutch team mate would like to join him at the Istanbul club. According to the Turkish Football website Kuyt revealed that he and Van Persie had gone on holiday together and the Arsenal man had declared himself "very impressed" by the club.
"Van Persie said that one day he'd like to play for Fenerbahce," announced Kuyt, before adding that it might not happen this summer.
Are Liverpool laying the ground for the departure of Andy Carroll by snapping up Clint Dempsey? That's what goal.com claims, saying the Reds will offer Fulham £5m for the American ace as they look to "offload Carroll permanently". In recent days speculation has been rife that the England striker is on his way out of Anfield after an unsuccessful 18-month stint .
As we reported yesterday, the Magpies are eager to welcome back Carroll after his fruitless foray onto Merseyside and according to goal.com, Liverpool will use some of the money made from selling Carroll to bring in Dempsey, who was on Arsenal's radar, as a replacement.
The website says the 29-year-old Fulham forward "has rejected a new contract offer" from the Cottagers in the expectation of moving to Liverpool. Apparently Fulham have yet to receive an official offer from Liverpool, who are first waiting to get rid of Carroll before making a play for Dempsey.
Meanwhile there's confusion in London and we're not talking about the Olympic traffic lanes. Rather it concerns the future of France shotstopper Hugo Lloris after claims Tottenham have baulked at Lyon's £16m asking price. According to the Metro, the Lilywhites have told Lyon they're having a laugh if they think they're paying such a sum for Lloris.
Instead Spurs are standing firm on their recent offer of £12m, which means the deal looks to have gone as quiet as a late-night Bruce Springsteen concert in Hyde Park.
However the Metro does add that Lloris's agent is "still trying to force through a move" to White Hart Lane because the international keeper has his heart set on playing in the Premier League. For his part, new Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas believes Lloris is the man to provide some ballast at the back of the Tottenham defence.
Still with Spurs and Talksport reports that Rennes defender Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik has let it be known he'd rather try his luck with AC Milan than the north London club. The Italian giants have been looking around for a replacement for Thiago Silva – who's just signed for Paris Saint-Germain – and it seems they've got their man in 22-year-old Kana-Biyik.
The news will be a blow to Tottenham who had been sounding out the Cameroonian star. "I have had contacts with clubs in both leagues, but I feel more attracted towards Serie A," admitted Kana-Biyik. "We'll see what happens in these next few days."
In other news, Bayer Leverkusen general manager Rudi Voller has disclosed that Chelsea have as much chance of signing Andre Schurrle as they have of seeing the sun over Stamford Bridge. The 21-year-old winger has been on the Blues' radar for weeks but in an interview with German magazine Kicker, Voller said: "We are unable to sign a replacement… [so] the matter is over with and I have also told Andre so."
And if Chelsea want to bag Edinson Cavani then they'll have to stump up £150,000 a week to keep the Uruguay striker happy. The Daily Mail says that the Blues will sit down later this week to discuss personal terms with the Napoli frontman but they've already been told by his people that Cavani expects to be paid the same as the likes of John Terry and Fernando Torres.