Arsenal and Liverpool fight for Sahin, Dempsey demands move

Aug 17, 2012
Bill Mann

Turkish midfielder in demand, as Dempsey and Bendtner both want out

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HOURS after waving goodbye to Robin van Persie, Arsenal have made a last-ditch bid to persuade Nuri Sahin to join them. According to the Daily Mail, the 23-year-old Real Madrid playmaker and Turkish international had been about to sign loan terms with Liverpool when the Gunners got in touch and begged him to hold fire.

Sahin did as requested because he "prefers a move to Arsenal" where he'd get the chance to compete in the Champions League.

The Mail says the Sahin deal is contingent on the expected sale of midfielder Alex Song to Barcelona. If the Spanish giants buy Song at Arsenal's asking price of £15m, then Arsenal will bring in Sahin as a replacement. The future of Song should be decided by the weekend, in which case Sahin would arrive at the Emirates early next week.

However the news from Spain is that the talks have stalled. While Sahin would prefer to be in London under Arsene Wenger, but the ever-reliable Marca reports that Real president  Florentino Perez is concerned about the midfielder joining Champions League rivals Arsenal and would rather he headed to Merseyside and some Europa League action.

Arsenal and Liverpool could also be set to cross swords over Fulham's much-admired American striker Clint Dempsey, who has announced that he wants to quit Fulham for Liverpool.

Martin Jol, the Cottagers boss, is fuming after Liverpool announced that they were interested in the 29-year-old but did not make an offer for him, says the London Evening Standard. Apparently even Dempsey believed he was heading for Merseyside, and has now tried to smooth the path towards a tranfer by declaring his desire to leave.

However, Arsenal have also been linked to the US international, and with the proceeds of the Robin van Persie deal burning a hole in his pocket who is to say Wenger won't make an offer for the player.

Perhaps Nicklas Bendtner is angry that he was not chosen as the new Arsenal captain (the job has gone to Thomas Vermaelen), but he has announced that he is now definitely on his way out of the Emirates. Football 365 reports that the straight-talking Danish striker has declared: "It is not an option to stay at Arsenal, that is something neither I nor Arsenal desire."

The 24-year-old said there were "serious negotiations" going on with his suitors, who must satisfy his "requirements". They are thought to include AC Milan, who are obviously hoping to replace the departed Zlatan Ibrhimovich with another striker with an inflated opinion of himself.

Two of the Premier League's smaller clubs have sprung surprises today as QPR reveal that they are "very close" to signing former Chelsea defender Jose Bosingwa, according to the BBC. Meanwhile Sky Sports reports that Mark Hughes has confirmed that Joey Barton will be leaving the club, possibly on loan.

Perhaps it is the bracing south coast air, but something has apparently convinced Spurs and Liverpool target Gaston Ramirez to join Southampton. The 21-year-old Bologna winger is set to sign for a whopping (for Southampton) £11.8m, says The Independent.

"I would have a four-year deal and they are giving me so much more money that would go towards my family and my future," said the player. Seems it's not the sea air after all.

Bayern Munich have beaten Manchester City to the hand of Javi Martinez. The Sky Blues have been tailing the 23-year-old during the summer but according to Spanish rag AS, the Athletic Bilbao midfielder is on the verge of signing for the German club.

Both City and Barcelona had expressed an interest in Martinez, a member of Spain's Euro 2012-winning squad, with Bilbao demanding £31m for his services. According to AS, Martinez is so keen to join Bayern that he's forgoing a percentage of his salary to force through the move.

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness expressed his confidence that Martinez will soon be on their books, saying: "I'm aware about the negotiations and would be happy if they succeed… in the next few days we will know if the transfer is done."

In other news, the Chilean paper La Tercera claims that Manchester United are about to add another new face to their squad, albeit a whippersnapper compared to the ageing Robin van Persie. The striker in question is 18-year-old Angelo Henriquez, currently part of the Universidad de Chile squad.

Speaking to La Tercera, Henriquez confided: "I will meet with Alex Ferguson on Wednesday and talk about what he wants from me. I cannot waste this opportunity because it is something I've wanted all my life."

Henriquez's agent, Fernando Felicevich, has yet to thrash out the terms of the deal but it's believed United will sign the teenage frontman before loaning him back to Universidad de Chile while they wait for Van Persie to pick up an injury.

Still with United and Talksport claims that both Manchester United and Liverpool are set to miss out on Benfica star Nicolas Gaitan. The attacking midfielder has been pursued by the Premier League clubs for months but Talksport reports that Benfica are reluctant to cut a deal given that Gaitan has suffered a recent slump in form.

United allegedly made a £19.6m offer to Benfica at the start of the year but were knocked back by the Portuguese club who wanted to hang on to the Argentine ace for the rest of the season. When Gaitan's second half of the season didn't turn out so well, both United and Liverpool were suddenly willing to pay the £20m asking price.

As a result Benfica will wait until Gaitan rediscovers his form before putting the 24-year-old once more on the market. With United having bagged Van Persie, Talksport speculates that it will be down to Liverpool to continue the pursuit.

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