Arsenal in for M'Vila as Sahin deal stalls, Spurs chase Llorente
Spanish giants refuse Gunners option to keep Turkish midfielder at end of loan period
THE TRANSFER of Alex Song to Barcelona has been concluded for a fee of £15m. The Arsenal midfielder underwent a medical on Monday, the results of which clearly impressed Barcelona doctor Ricard Pruna. "He has a very low body fat percentage and very good muscle quality," gushed the good doctor. "All the tests have come out satisfactorily and he is available to the coach."
A statement on the official Arsenal website confirmed the move, noting that the 24-year-old playmaker leaves the Emirates after 204 appearances for the Gunners. "Everyone at Arsenal would like to thank Alex for his contribution to the club and wish him the best of luck for the future," ended the statement.
According to reports from Spain, Song has signed a five-year deal and he was officially introduced to the Barcelona faithful on Monday night during the club's match against Sampdoria in the Joan Gamper Estrella Damm Trophy. "I'm so happy to be here because everyone knows Barcelona are the best team in the world," declared Song. "I'm feeling like a young boy."
Meanwhile The Guardian says that Arsenal and Real Madrid are at loggerheads over the signing of Nuri Sahin. The Turkish midfielder wants to join the Gunners and in principle Real are happy to let him go on loan for the season. But it reports that the clubs can't agree about what happens when the loan expires in May. Apparently Arsenal are demanding the option to make the transfer permanent but Madrid still see it purely as a temporary switch and want him back at the end of the season.
But if the Sahin deal fails to materialise, who will the Gunners turn to? You guessed it, Yann M'Vila. Yet again the Rennes midfielder is being linked with a move to the Emirates. Metro reports that the French club now expects the 21-year-old to leave this summer after receiving offers from Tottenham, Zenit St Petersburg and a third unnamed side, thought to be Spurs' north London rivals Arsenal.
However, the last time Arsenal were linked to M'Vila it all turned out to be a ruse from the player's manager to try and start a bidding war, so Gunners fans might take the latest rumour with a pinch of salt. And the situation is far from clear-cut for Spurs and Zenit after Rennes director Pierre Dreossi revealed: "It is complicated because some clubs are not agreed within their clubs about the deal and there are clubs where Yann does not want to go."
Perhaps the only thing that is clear is that M'Vila will cost £17m.
Metro is on fire today and also reports that Spanish forward Fernando Llorente could be heading to the Premier League as Manchester City and Spurs vie for his signature. The player's agent, Carlos Arino Bajo, has revealed that there are two English clubs ready to pounce for the burly Spaniard, and that would explain why he has resisted the overtures from Juventus.
"It is very, very possible he will decide to go to the Premier League," said Bajo. Metro says the two clubs chasing Llorente have not been named but it is confident that they are City and Spurs, both of whom are anxious to add to their strikeforces before the window shuts.
Indeed Spurs are so desperate they have even been linked to Marouane Chamakh. But Spurs fans will be relieved to hear from ESPN that those reports are as wide of the mark as one of his headers. The misfiring Moroccan is persona non grata at the Emirates these days after two years of torpid displays and last week rumours emerged suggesting Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas was lining up a swoop for the former Bordeaux frontman. Not so, says ESPN.
Claims that Brazil midfielder Sandro could leave White Hart Lane appear to be as fanciful as talk of Manchester United winning the title. Speaking to Italian website Calciomercatoweb, the player's agent, Luiz Paulo Chignall, said there was no truth in rumours that the 23-year-old Sandro could be sold by Spurs as part of a deal for Inter Milan goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
"Sandro is preparing to have a great season with Tottenham," said Chignall. "We never got an official offer from Inter, nor from other teams." Asked if Sandro could be part of a swap involving Cesar, Chignall replied: "We read about these stories on the internet. But as I mentioned earlier, I have had no contact with Inter."
The BBC reports that Swansea have agreed terms with Celtic for Ki Sung-Yueng. The 23-year-old South Korean international will be heading to Wales with the blessing of Celtic manager Neil Lennon, who described the £6m transfer fee as "good business". He added: "It will be unfortunate to lose a talented player but that's been our strategy at the club now for the last two or three years."
Midfielder Ki starred for his country in the recent Olympic football tournament and his arrival at the Swans will be another boost after they thrashed QPR 5-0 on Saturday.
Goal.com has bagged an exclusive with the news that Daniele De Rossi has turned down a £31m move to Manchester City. Apparently the silky-skilled midfielder will use a press conference later today to pledge his allegiance to Roma despite the head-turning offer from the Sky Blues. Goal.com claims City made the £31m offer on Saturday but after consideration De Rossi has decided to stay put.