Santi Cazorla and Nuri Sahin close to joining Arsenal
And Robin van Persie may have to stay at Emirates another year as Juventus 'get tired of waiting'
WITHIN the next 48 hours Arsenal should "close deals" for Malaga winger Santi Cazorla and Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin, according to the Daily Mirror, which also questions the immediate future of Robin van Persie.
Apparently the Dutchman will attend Arsenal's pre-season training camp in Germany. The paper says he "is facing a deadlock over his future" that might result in his staying at the Emirates and seeing out the last year on his contract.
Juventus have reportedly grown tired of waiting for Van Persie to make up his mind and have given him a deadline of 7 August to accept their offer. Meanwhile the Mirror claims Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has "major reservations about bidding over £15m" for a player of Van Persie's age – he's about to turn 29 - and with his injury record.
That leaves just Manchester City going for the Arsenal striker, but manager Roberto Mancini has been told by his board that until the club offloads some of its current strike force there is no room for Van Persie.
Meanwhile, Wenger has been scouring what the Mirror calls the "poverty-stricken Spanish top flight". He's thought to be spending somewhere around £17m to secure 27-year-old Cazorla, while Sahin, 23, a Turkish international, is expected to join on a season-long loan.
Cazorla is expected to be unveiled some time on Friday and passed his medical at the Emirates on Thursday night, claims The Guardian.
Meanwhile it seems that Arsenal have earmarked Victor Wanyama of Celtic as a replacement for Alex Song should he be tempted by a move to Barcelona. It was reported earlier in the week that the Spanish giants were interested in Song, and that Arsenal were kee on Wanyama. Now the Daily Mail has explained how the two reports are linked.
Talksport reports that Manchester City and AC Milan could come to blows over Marseille centre-back Nicolas N'Koulou. Apparently the 22-year-old Cameroon international has come to the attention of Mancini as he looks to bolster his back four. Talksport says the Sky Blues manager has doubts over Kolo Toure's future and is actively looking for a back-up.
As we reported earlier in the week, City had been after Liverpool's Daniel Agger but it now appears Mancini has given up on him after two bids were knocked back by the Reds. N'Koulou, who joined Marseille from Monaco last summer, was one of the standout performers for Marseille last season but City will have to fight off interest from Milan, who are circling the gifted youngster.
Chelsea have confirmed that Kevin De Bruyne has joined Werder Bremen on loan for the whole of the upcoming season. The 21-year-old Belgian arrived at the Bridge in January from Genk and despite playing in a couple of summer looseners for the European champions the winger will now continue his development in the Bundesliga.
Could Tottenham be about to make a bid for Roma shot-stopper Martin Stekelenburg? Yes, according to the player's agent Rob Jansen in an interview with Dutch rag Voetbal International. Jansen claims that "Maarten is indeed one of the three goalkeepers on Tottenham's shortlist" with new boss Andre Villas-Boas keen to strengthen his keeping resources.
The Lilywhites have been linked with Hugo Lloris of Lyon in recent weeks but if Jansen's to be believed Stekelenburg is their preferred option. As for the Dutchman, who began his career with Ajax, his agent told Voetbal International: "Tottenham are a big club… and it has always been a dream for Maarten to play in the Premier League."
Tottenham are also said to be courting Chelsea's young striker Daniel Sturridge with the Metro claiming that the 22-year-old, currently starring for Team GB in the Olympics, "wants showdown talks" with the Blues.
Apparently he's growing concerned about what role he'll play in the squad next season and is seeking reassurances from boss Roberto Di Matteo. If those aren't forthcoming the Metro says "he is likely to request a permanent move out of the club". Tottenham are reportedly at the front of the chasing pack.