Man City 'furious' as Juve lead chase for Arsenal's Van Persie
RVP saga rumbles on, no place for M’Vila at Arsenal, as Gunners and Spurs row over Lloris
ROBERTO MANCINI is said to be "furious" that Manchester City have fallen behind in the race to sign Arsenal's Robin van Persie. According to The Sun, the Italian wanted a deal to be done before the Sky Blues' summer tour to the Far East, only to be told by football administration officer Brian Marwood that the club must first balance the books by offloading one of Edin Dzeko, Emmanuel Adebayor or Carlos Tevez.
That hasn't happened and as a result City are losing ground to Juventus, who apparently are "ready to rival City with wages of £200,000 a week".
City are said to have offered Arsenal £15m for Van Persie, still £5m off the Gunners' minimum price, but more than the £13m bid from Manchester United. However it's believed Juventus are about to make a big money offer which, says the Sun, should prompt City into making a further offer as the bidding war hots up.
Yann M'Vila will not be joining Arsenal - that's the message from Arsene Wenger in conversation with the Gunners' website. The Nutty Professor is currently in the Far East with his squad and was asked if he was still on the trail of M'Vila. "No," replied Wenger, instantly quashing speculation that Arsenal were about to snap up the 21-year-old Rennes midfielder.
Pressed on why he wasn't interested in M'Vila, Wenger insisted there was no point because "in defensive midfielders and box-to-box players we are not short". He then listed those players, name-checking Alex Song, Aaron Ramsey, Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby.
Diaby played just twice for the Gunners last season due to injury problems but Wenger said he's now back to full fitness. "You can't imagine how happy I am firstly to have him in the squad because he is an exceptional player," said Wenger.
Meanwhile Talksport reports that Arsenal have had a setback in their bid to jettison misfiring Moroccan marksman Maroune Chamakh. Turkish club Besiktas were apparently on the verge of making a £4m move for the former Bordeaux striker last week.
But now Talksport claims Besiktas have instead signed Sevilla defender Julien Escude from Sevilla and manager Samet Aybaba has ruled out a move for Chamakh, saying: "We needed a defender like Escude and I think our defence will be stronger with him. We're not attempting to sign Marouane Chamakh."
Goal has even worse news for Arsenal fans. Chamakh can't wait for Van Persie to leave the Emirates so he can step in and fill the void left by the Arsenal skipper's departure. He told reporters on Arsenal's pre-season tour of the Far East: "I am determined to stay."
Still with Arsenal and the Metro reports that Malaga have told the Gunners they won't be getting their hands on Santi Cazorla any time soon. Arsenal were linked with the 27-year-old midfielder last week after it was revealed the Spanish side were in a spot of financial strife with the tax man on their tail. But their Qatari owners have ruled out doing a deal over Carloza. "We are not a selling club," said Sheikh Abdullah Ghubn.
Meanwhile the tussle between Arsenal and Spurs over French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has taken a bitter twist after it was claimed that Arsenal only expressed an interest in signing the player to try and bump up the price so that Tottenham could not afford him.
French weekly sports newspaper Le 10 Sport claims Spurs believe Arsene Wenger and Lyon manager Remi Garde agreed to say that Arsenal were interested in the keeper so the French club could ask for more money. The 'bidding war' led to Lloris's price rising to £16m, which is £3m more than Spurs were prepared to pay.
In other news, Wagner Ribeiro, the agent of 19-year-old Lucas Moura, has hit out at reports that his client was about to up sticks and move to Manchester United. As we reported yesterday, some of the more excitable papers claimed at the weekend that United were poised to table a bid for the Sao Paulo winger.
Not so, said Ribeiro when asked by FCinternews.it. "I can 100 per cent guarantee that Lucas is not Manchester United's and that he has not been sold." He then added: "These are all rumours from the English newspapers; a London newspaper invented this new one, which is a common thing in England." Surely not.